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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Nanoparticle‐based detection of cancer‐associated RNA

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer cases are expected to increase globally by 57% over the coming two decades. A critical factor in the management of cancer is early detection using highly sensitive diagnostic techniques. RNAs play a vital role in cancer pathogenesis. The detection of aberrant and/or abnormally expressed RNA has been reported in several cancers. Nanoparticle‐based assays have been shown to have enhanced specificity and sensitivity as compared with conventional methods. In addition, nanoparticles have enabled the development of new diagnostic strategies. This review covers nanoparticle‐based techniques used for the detection of mRNA and micro‐RNA associated to different cancers.

Illustration of some microarray‐based techniques for determination of miRNA. (a) miRNA detection using polyaniline nanowires. HRP, horseradish peroxidase; PNA, peptide nucleic acid. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2007 American Chemical Society) (b) miRNA detection by fluorescence amplification using Cd2+/Ag+ cation exchange in nanocrystals. CP, capture probe; DP, detection probe; MP, magnetic particle. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2009 American Chemical Society) (c) Microfluidic‐assisted microarray for detection of miRNA using differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2011 Royal Society of Chemistry) (d) Scanometric miRNA array. SNA‐Au‐NP, spherical nucleic acid‐gold nanoparticle. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2012 American Chemical Society)
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Molecular beacon‐conjugated gold nanoparticles (MB–AuNP) for intracellular detection of mRNA. The figure shows how MB–AuNP can simultaneously detect two distinct mRNA targets. FITC, fluorescein isothiocyanate; Cy5, cyanine5. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2011 John Wiley and Sons)
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Illustration of the principle of using nanoflares to detect mRNA in living cells. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2007 American Chemical Society)
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Non‐crosslinking technique for colourimetric/spectrophotometric detection of mRNA. In positive reactions, target mRNAs hybridize to Au‐nanoprobes preventing their aggregation and the solution remains red while in negative (noncomplementary mRNA) as well as blank (no mRNA), aggregation occurs and the solution turns blue. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2010 BioMed Central)
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Intracellular imaging of miRNA. (a) Using hyaluronic acid (HA)‐coated nanocontainers. BHQ2 is a quencher dye, Cy5.5, cyanine 5.5, a fluorescent dye; HA, hyaluronic acid; PEG, polyethylene glycol. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2012 American Chemical Society) (b) Using a nucleolin aptamer‐ and molecular beacon‐conjugated nanoparticles in a theranostic approach. EDC, N‐(3‐dimethylaminopropyl)‐N′‐ ethyl‐carbodiimide hydrochloride; MF, magnetic fluorescent nanoparticles; MFAS miR‐221 MB, AS1411 aptamer‐ and miRNA‐221 molecular beacon (miR‐221 MB)‐conjugated magnetic fluorescence nanoparticle. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2012 Elsevier Limited)
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Nanotechnology Approaches to Biology > Nanoscale Systems in Biology

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Mauro Ferrari

Mauro Ferrari

started out in mechanical engineering and became interested in nanotechnology with his studies on nanomechanics and nanofluidics. His research work and involvement with setting up some of the premier nano centers and alliances in the world, bringing together universities, hospitals, and federal agencies, showcases interdisciplinarity at work.

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