Researchers from the University of Missouri have developed a nanotechnology sensor for the early diagnosis of lung cancer. In the latest issue of Nature Nanotechnology they have published their findings and views on how it can contribute to medicine.
The nanopore-based microRNA sensor uses a programmable oligonucleotide probe to generate a signal that can quantify levels of a specific microRNA in plasma, which is often elevated in lung cancer patients. MicroRNAs are short RNA molecules that regulate gene expression and much research has been done exploring the potential of microRNAs to function as biomarkers. A nanopore is a molecule-size structure, capable of detecting single molecules with high sensitivity. The authors state that it is the first time that nanopore technology has been used to detect lung cancer. They foresee many other possibilities for their nanopore sensor, like detecting other types of cancer and other diseases with specific DNA or RNA in the blood.
Full story at MU: Researchers Unveil Method for Detecting Lung Cancer in Nature Article
Abstract in Nature Nanotechnology: Nanopore-based detection of circulating microRNAs in lung cancer patients
Image: Thiago Lethi…