Development of Nanowire Device for Microscopic Detection of Cancer Biomarkers in Urine

Nanowire Device for Microscopic Detection

Researchers from Nagoya University reported on January 01, 2018, that they have developed a novel medical device that can efficiently capture extracellular vesicles (EVs) for cancer screening

New study aims to examine the forces of negatively charged EVs and positively charged nanowires to extract the miRNAs from urine sample of patients suffering from variety of diseases. As a part of the study, scientists examined the samples from patients with pancreatic, liver, bladder, and prostate cancer. A microfluidic device comprising zinc oxide nanowires embedded in a specialized polymer, which use electrostatic forces to collect miRNA containing EVs from as little as 1 ml of urine.

The device collected EVs encapsulating about 1,000 different types of miRNA sequence, far higher than the 200–300 different miRNAs that have been extracted from urine using conventional ultracentrifugation methods. Analyzing microRNAs (miRNAs) within urine extracellular vesicles (EVs) is important for realizing miRNA-based, simple, and noninvasive early disease diagnoses and timely medical checkups. However, none of the existing methodologies for collecting EV-encapsulated miRNAs have satisfied the requirements for this due to less concentration of EVs in urine.

According to Cancer Biomarkers Market report published by Coherent Market Insights, Biomarkers indicates one’s health condition and the underlying disease condition. Various types of biomolecules such as DNA, proteins, and hormones are widely used to detect the malady. These biomarkers can be found in blood, urine, stool, tumor tissue, or other body fluids. Different cancer biomarkers react differently to various cancer treatments. Our developed device could allow us to collect thousands of urinary microRNAs from only 1 milliliter of urine, said Takao Yasui, an assistant professor in the department of biomolecular engineering at Nagoya University. “Surprisingly, the device could extract a much larger variety of species of miRNAs than ultracentrifugation despite the fact that the device uses a smaller sample volume and shorter treatment time than the latter method,” the authors added. The processes is real-time and takes just 40 minutes.

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