Nanopore technology with DNA computing easily detects microRNA patterns of lung cancer
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IMAGE: DNAs autonomously recognized two microRNAs, miR-20a and miR-17-5p, and formed a four-way junction structure that was captured in the nanopore, showing long blocking currents. view more 

Credit: Figure adapted with permission from Anal. Chem., 2018, 90 (14), pp 8531-8537. Copyright © 2018 American Chemical Society

Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) is very aggressive, since the cancer cells not only quickly grow but also easily spread to entire body. Often SCLC can be diagnosed using several common tests unfortunately after spread of cancer cells, resulting in poor survival.

Now researchers at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT) in Japan have developed a simple technique to sufficiently identify SCLC earlier. This work, published in the July print issue of the journal Analytical Chemistry in ACS, presented how nanopore technology was combined with DNA computing technology to catch the early biomarkers for SCLC, which were two independent microRNAs.

“DNA computing technology allows DNA molecules to autonomously recognize the pattern of microRNA molecules (input) and to convey (output) the information, which this case electric current was generated”, said senior author Dr. Ryuji Kawano, Associate Professor, Department of Biotechnology and Life Science, TUAT.

Those microRNAs (miR-20a and miR-17-5p) are known to be

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