DNA/RNA chimera templates improve the emission intensity and target the accessibility of silver nanocluster-based sensors for human microRNA detection
In recent years microRNAs (miRNAs) have been established as important biomarkers in a variety of diseases including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, aging, Alzheimer's disease, asthma, autoimmune disease and liver diseases. As a consequence, a variety of monitoring methods for miRNAs have been developed, including a fast and simple method for miRNA detection by exploitation of the unique photoluminescence of DNA-templated silver nanoclusters (DNA/AgNCs). To increase the versatility of the AgNC-based method, we have adopted DNA/RNA chimera templates for AgNC-based probes, allowing response from several human miRNAs which are hardly detectable with DNA-based probes. Here, we demonstrate in detail the power of DNA/RNA chimera/AgNC probes in detecting two human miRNAs, let-7a and miR-200c. The DNA/RNA chimera-based probes are highly efficient to determine the level of miRNAs in several human cell lines.