We have proposed a novel strategy for miRNA detection through enzyme-free signal amplification by self-circulation of the hybridization between the miRNAs and molecular beacon (MB) circuits. Unlike general MB-based miRNA detection based on the one-to-one (1 : 1) hybridization between MBs and miRNA, our system consists of four species of MBs (MBs A, B, C and D) (MB circuits) and is activated by a hybridization chain reaction. MBs stably coexist as hairpin structures that hardly show fluorescence signals in the absence of target miRNA. After miRNA detection, this MB circuit is able to generate fluorescence signals and amplify the fluorescence signal, contributing to improvement in detection sensitivity under iso-thermal conditions without an enzyme. Furthermore, in vitro and in vivo studies have proven that MB circuits can detect low levels of miRNA with high sensitivity, compared to when only one MB alone is used. Therefore, the MB circuits can provide a useful platform for target miRNA detection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Metals and Alloys
- Materials Chemistry