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Polythiophene derivative on quartz resonators for miRNA capture and assay
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A novel approach for miRNA assay using a cationic polythiophene derivative, poly[3-(3′-N,N,N-triethylamino-1′-propyloxy)-4-methyl-2,5-thiophene hydrobromide] (PT), immobilized on a quartz resonator is proposed. The cationic PT enables capturing of all RNA sequences in the sample matrix via electrostatic interactions, resulting in the formation of PT-RNA duplex structures on quartz resonators. Biotinylated peptide nucleic acid (b-PNA) sequences are subsequently utilized for the RNA assay, upon monitoring the PT-RNA-b-PNA triplex formation. Signal amplification is achieved by anchoring avidin coated nanoparticles to b-PNA in order to yield responses at clinically relevant concentration regimes. Unlike conventional nucleic acid assay methodologies that usually quantify a specific sequence of RNA, the proposed approach enables the assay of any RNA sequence in the sample matrix upon hybridization with a PNA sequence complementary to the RNA of interest. As an illustration, successful detection of mir21, (a miRNA sequence associated with lung cancer) is demonstrated with a limit of detection of 400 pM. Furthermore, precise quantification of mir21 in plasma samples is demonstrated without requiring PCR and sophisticated instrumentation.