Spectroelectrochemical detection of microRNA-155 based on functional RNA immobilization onto ITO/GNP nanopattern

J Biotechnol. 2018 May 20;274:40-46. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2018.03.014. Epub 2018 Mar 26.


We fabricated a microRNA biosensor using the combination of surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) and electrochemical (EC) techniques. For the first time, the weaknesses of each techniques for microRNA detection was compensated by the other ones to give rise to the specific and wide-range detection of miR-155. A single stranded 3' methylene blue (MB) and 5' thiol-modified RNA (MB-ssRNA-SH) was designed to detect the target miR-155 and immobilized onto the gold nanoparticle-modified ITO (ITO/GNP). Upon the invasion of target strand, the double-stranded RNA transformed rapidly to an upright structure resulting in a notable decrease in SERS and redox signals of the MB. For the first time, by combination of SERS and EC techniques in a single platform we extended the dynamic range of both techniques from 10 pM to 450 nM (SERS: 10 pM-5 nM and EC: 5 nM-450 nM). As well, the SERS technique improved the detection limit of the EC method from 100 pM to 100 fM, while the EC method covered single-mismatch detection which was the SERS deficiency. The fabricated single-step biosensor possessing a good capability of miRNA detection in human serum, could be employed throughout the broad ranges of biomedical and bioelectronics applications.

Keywords: Dynamic range extension; Single mismatch detection; Spectroelectrochemical biosensor; Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy; microRNA detection.

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • Electrochemical Techniques / methods
  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Limit of Detection
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • MicroRNAs / analysis*
  • MicroRNAs / chemistry
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman / methods


  • MIRN155 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • Gold