Detection of miRNAs with a nanopore single-molecule counter

Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2012 Jul;12(6):573-84. doi: 10.1586/erm.12.58.


miRNAs are short noncoding RNA molecules that are important in regulating gene expression. Due to the correlation of their expression levels and various diseases, miRNAs are being investigated as potential biomarkers for molecular diagnostics. The fast-growing miRNA exploration demands rapid, accurate, low-cost miRNA detection technologies. This article will focus on two platforms of nanopore single-molecule approach that can quantitatively measure miRNA levels in samples from tissue and cancer patient plasma. Both nanopore methods are sensitive and specific, and do not need labeling, enzymatic reaction or amplification. In the next 5 years, the nanopore-based miRNA techniques will be improved and validated for noninvasive and early diagnosis of diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / analysis*
  • Nanopores*
  • Nanotechnology / methods*


  • MicroRNAs