MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are single-stranded non-coding short ribonucleic acid sequences that take part in many cellular and biological processes. Recent studies have shown that altered expression of miRNAs is involved in pathological processes, and they can thus be considered biomarkers for the early detection of various diseases. Here, we demonstrate a selection and elimination process of fluorescent single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) sensors for miRNA biomarkers based on RNA-DNA hybridization with a complementary DNA recognition unit bound to the SWCNT surface. We use known miRNA biomarkers for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), commonly known as a heart attack, as a case study. We have selected five possible miRNA biomarkers which are selective and specific to AMI and tested DNA-SWCNT sensor candidates with the target DNA and RNA sequences in different environments. Out of these five miRNA sensors, three could recognize the complementary DNA or RNA sequence in a buffer, showing fluorescence modulation of the SWCNT in response to the target sequence. Out of the three working sensors in buffer, only one could function in serum and was selected for further testing. The chosen sensor, SWCNT-miDNA208a, showed high specificity and selectivity toward the target sequence, with better performance in serum compared to a buffer environment. The SWCNT sensor selection pipeline highlights the importance of testing sensor candidates in the appropriate environment and can be extended to other libraries of biomarkers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- !!Process Chemistry and Technology
- !!Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes