Native microRNA targets trigger self-assembly of nanozyme-patterned hollowed nanocuboids with optimal interparticle gaps for plasmonic-activated cancer detection

Junrong Li, Kevin M. Koo*, Yuling Wang, Matt Trau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The modernized use of nucleic acid (NA) sequences to drive nanostructure self-assembly has given rise to a new class of designed nanomaterials with controllable plasmonic functionalities for broad surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-based bioanalysis applications. Herein, dual usage of microRNAs (miRNAs) as both valuable cancer biomarkers and direct self-assembly triggers is identified and capitalized upon for custom-designed plasmonic nanostructures. Through strict NA hybridization of miRNA targets, Au nanospheres selectively self-assemble onto hollowed Au/Ag alloy nanocuboids with ideal interparticle distances (≈2.3 nm) for optimal SERS signaling. The intrinsic material properties of the self-assembled nanostructures further elevate miRNA detection performance via nanozyme catalytic SERS signaling cascades. This enables fM-level miR-107 detection limit within a clinically-relevant range without any molecular target amplification. The miRNA-triggered nanostructure self-assembly approach is further applied in clinical patient samples, and showcases the potential of miR-107 as a non-invasive prostate cancer diagnostic biomarker. The use of miRNA targets to drive nanostructure self-assembly holds great promise as a practical tool for miRNA detection in disease applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1904689
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalSmall
Volume15
Issue number50
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • microRNAs
  • nanostructure self-assembly
  • nanozymes
  • prostate cancer
  • surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)

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