A Focus on Microfluidics and Nanotechnology Approaches for the Ultra Sensitive Detection of MicroRNA
Swathi Lingam, Madhu Beta, Dhananjay Dendukuri and Subramanian Krishnakumar
Affiliation: L & T Ocular Pathology Department, Kamalanayan Bajaj Research Institute, Vision Research Foundation. No 18/41, College Road, Chennai- 600006, Tamil Nadu, India.
MicroRNAs are small RNAs that are deregulated under disease conditions. This allows them to be used as
biomarkers for disease diagnosis. Recently, such microRNAs are serving as non- invasive blood based biomarkers due to
ease of detection, and high stability at room temperature in biofluids. In view of these advancements in biomarker research,
efficient miRNA detection at the femtomolar level is important. MiRNA detection techniques to date include
Northern blotting, real time PCR and microarray technology. While these are efficient techniques, they cannot detect very
low miRNA levels, and have questionable specificity. This review describes nanotechnology, microfluidics and liquid
phase miRNA detection techniques that are highly sensitive and specific. With some sophistication, some of these techniques
can be used as point of care devices to rapidly detect low level miRNA in patient clinical samples to aid disease diagnosis
Keywords: Biomarker, isothermal amplification, liquid phase binding, microfluidics, modified in situ hybridization probes,
microRNA detection, nanotechnology.
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