Nagoya University-led collaboration develops a pioneering nanobiodevice that can isolate cancer biomarkers quickly with high resolution
Nagoya, Japan - Like DNA, ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a type of polymeric biomolecule essential for life, playing important roles in gene processing. Short lengths of RNA called microRNA are more stable than longer RNA chains, and are found in common bodily fluids.
The level of microRNA in bodily fluids is strongly correlated with the presence and advance of cancer. This means that microRNA can act as an easily accessible biomarker to diagnose cancer, which causes over 14% of deaths annually worldwide.
To use microRNA as a biomarker for cancer, it needs to be isolated by a rapid, efficient process. A collaboration led by researchers at Nagoya University has developed an innovative nanobiodevice that can separate microRNA from DNA/RNA mixtures obtained from cells in less than 100 ms.
The nanobiodevice consists of a quartz substrate containing a 25×100 μm array of "nanopillars" (small columns with a diameter of 250 nm and height of 100 nm) in shallow "nanoslits" with a height of 100 nm and fabricated in a microchannel by electron beam lithography.
The ability of the nanobiodevice to separate microRNA from DNA was first investigated using mixtures containing components with known concentrations. The team optimized the separation conditions, achieving almost complete separation of microRNA from DNA in just 20 ms. This is the fastest complete separation of microRNA to date.
The researchers then separated a mixture of microRNA, RNA, and DNA isolated from cells using the nanobiodevice. Separation with high resolution was realized in 100 ms. The nanobiodevice separated microRNA from RNA and DNA because of the different mobilities of these materials through the nanopillar region of the microchannel.
"We believe that the nanobiodevice separates microRNA from mixtures through a combination of two different physical behaviors of confined polymers in the nanopoillar array, non-equilibrium transport and entropic trapping," corresponding author Noritada Kaji says. "The applied electric field combines with the unique nanostructure of the nanobiodevice to generate a strong electric force that induces rapid concentration and separation."
The speed at which this nanobiodevice can separate microRNA from complex mixtures means that it is promising for integration with nanopore DNA sequencing, which aims to realize direct sequencing of DNA or RNA at a rate of 1 base/ms. The developed nanobiodevice separation approach may lead to faster, more reliable isolation of microRNA, facilitating its use as a biomarker to allow quicker and easier detection of cancer.
This study was conducted by Nagoya University, Kyushu University, Hokkaido University, and Osaka University.
The article, "A millisecond micro-RNA separation technique by a hybrid of nanopillars and nanoslits" was published in Scientific Reports at DOI: 10.1038/srep43877
Koomi Sung | EurekAlert!
Research team creates new possibilities for medicine and materials sciences
22.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Saarland University bioinformaticians compute gene sequences inherited from each parent
22.01.2018 | Universität des Saarlandes
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.01.2018 | Life Sciences