A platform for multiplexed colorimetric microRNA detection using shape-encoded hydrogel particles†
We report a platform utilizing a reporter enzyme, which produces a chromogenic indigo precipitate that preferentially localizes within a hydrogel microparticle. The 3D network of the hydrogel maintains the rapid target binding kinetics found in solution, while multiplexed target detection is achieved through shape-encoding of the particles. Moreover, the precipitate-laden hydrogels can be imaged with a simple phone camera setup. We used this system to detect microRNA (miRNA) down to 0.22 fmol. We then showed the compatibility of this system with real samples by performing multiplexed miRNA measurements from total RNA from matched colon cancer and normal adjacent tissue.