CANCER DETECTION/FLUORESCENCE: Point-of-care microRNA detector can yield early-stage cancer diagnosis from a single drop of blood

With sufficient concentrations of a target, the "most sensitive microRNA detector yet" can analyze a drop of blood for cancer-specific biomarkers called microRNAs in just 20 minutes, say scientists at Japan's Riken Advanced Science Institute (Wako).1

The self-powered microfluidic chip aims to provide a quick, inexpensive, point-of-care means of detecting microRNAs that are sometimes present in blood long before symptoms become evident. It uses an internal pressure gradient to pump a sample through microchannels; thus, it requires no external power supply.

Riken researchers added a fluorescence amplification process to their microfluidic chip to enable detection of early-stage cancer in a single drop of blood
Riken researchers added a fluorescence amplification process to their microfluidic chip to enable detection of early-stage cancer in a single drop of blood.

The Riken researchers' invention improves upon earlier versions of the chip that were able to detect microRNA only at concentrations far above those required for early-stage cancer detection. The original chip worked by immobilizing target microRNA on probe DNA in the main microchannel, where each bound site produced a fluorescent signal. In the new chips, the researchers added a fluorescence amplification process that involves passing two amplification reagents over the immobilized microRNA. The reagents—a fluorescent tag and a branched linker—bind to the microRNA to form dendritic structures that amplify the fluorescence signal by up to 1,000 times.

The team hopes next to simplify the device by eliminating the need for a fluorescence microscope. Doing so will involve replacing the fluorescent tags with another type of marker-perhaps gold particles, which would enable naked-eye detection.

1. H. Arata, H. Komatsu, K. Hosokawa, and M. Maeda, PLoS ONE, 7, 11, e48329 (2012).

Get All the BioOptics World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to BioOptics World Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now
Related Articles

New bioimaging technique offers clear view of nervous system

Scientists at Ludwig-Maximilians University have developed a technique for turning the body of a deceased rodent entirely transparent, revealing the central nervous system in unprecedented clarity....

Fluorescent jellyfish proteins light up unconventional laser

Safer lasers to map your cells could soon be in the offing -- all thanks to the humble jellyfish. Conventional lasers, like the pointer you might use to entertain your cat, produce light by emittin...

Fluorescence microscopy helps provide new insight into how cancer cells metastasize

By using fluorescence microscopy, scientists have discovered an alternate theory on how some cancer cells metastasize.

In vivo imaging method visualizes bone-resorbing cell function in real time

In vivo imaging can visualize sites where osteoclasts (bone-resorbing cells) were in the process of resorbing bone.

BLOGS

Neuro15 exhibitors meet exacting demands: Part 2

Increasingly, neuroscientists are working with researchers in disciplines such as chemistry and p...

Why be free?

A successful career contributed to keeping OpticalRayTracer—an optical design software program—fr...

LASER Munich 2015 is bio-bent

LASER World of Photonics 2015 included the European Conferences on Biomedical Optics among its si...

White Papers

Understanding Optical Filters

Optical filters can be used to attenuate or enhance an image, transmit or reflect specific wavele...

How can I find the right digital camera for my microscopy application?

Nowadays, image processing is found in a wide range of optical microscopy applications. Examples ...

CONNECT WITH US

            

Twitter- BioOptics World

Copyright © 2007-2016. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved.PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS