Kinetic fingerprinting to identify and count single nucleic acids

Nat Biotechnol. 2015 Jul;33(7):730-2. doi: 10.1038/nbt.3246. Epub 2015 Jun 22.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as promising diagnostic biomarkers. We introduce a kinetic fingerprinting approach called single-molecule recognition through equilibrium Poisson sampling (SiMREPS) for the amplification-free counting of single unlabeled miRNA molecules, which circumvents thermodynamic limits of specificity and virtually eliminates false positives. We demonstrate high-confidence, single-molecule detection of synthetic and endogenous miRNAs in both buffer and minimally treated biofluids, as well as >500-fold discrimination between single nucleotide polymorphisms.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Limit of Detection
  • MicroRNAs / analysis*
  • MicroRNAs / chemistry
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA / methods*


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • MicroRNAs