Early stage cancer diagnosis may mean the difference between a successful or an ineffective treatment. Therefore, development of methods that allow the detection of premature signatures of cancer are necessary. Mature microRNAs are short non-coding RNAs strands (~18-21 nt) involved in gene regulation of eukaryotic cells. In cancer cells some miRNAs appear over or under expressed, and serve as a markers to signal the presence of these malignancies. MicroRNAs, however, are present in very low concentrations, thus sensitive and multiplexed methods that detect specific miRNAs are needed to enable the patient with timely and better treatment of this disease. Currently, we are developing a method that offers sensitive, fast, and multiplexed detection of miRNAs in blood samples. This method can be easily adapted to chip technology paving the way to recognize miRNAs without the need of either sample preparation or enzymatic/chemical modification. Due to the multiplexed and sensitive capabilities of our device, we also expect it to provide accurate cancer type characterization.
Project end date: 08/20/15