Naked eye detection of multiple tumor-related mRNAs from patients with photonic-crystal micropattern supported dual-modal upconversion bioprobes
Development of a portable device for the detection of multiple mRNAs is a significant need in the early diagnosis of cancer. We have designed a biochip-based mRNA detection device by combining a hydrophilic–hydrophobic micropattern with upconversion luminescence (UCL) probes. The device achieves highly sensitive detection, using the naked eye, of multiple mRNAs among patient samples. The high sensitivity is attributed to enrichment of the target concentration and a fluorescence enhancement effect. In addition, since the photonic crystal (PC) dot biochip is functionalized with dual-wavelength excitation UCL probes, two kinds of mRNAs in the heterogeneous biological samples are detected simultaneously, and the corresponding luminescence signals are captured using an unmodified camera phone. The biochip-based mRNA detection device reported here demonstrates that multiple mRNAs extracted from patient samples can be simultaneously and sensitively detected in a visual way without sophisticated instrumentation. Therefore, this device is promising for real-time detection of multiple biomarkers in patient samples, and it is anticipated that it will provide a powerful tool for convenient early diagnosis of cancer.