MicroRNAs (miRNA) are key regulators of gene expression, controlling different biological processes such as cellular development, differentiation, proliferation, metabolism, and apoptosis. The relationships between miRNA expression and the onset and progression of different diseases, such as tumours, cardiovascular and rheumatic diseases, and neurological disorders, are well known. A nanotechnology-based approach could match miRNA delivery and detection to move beyond the proof-of-concept stage. Different kinds of nanotechnologies can have a major impact on the diagnosis and treatment of miRNA-related diseases such as cancer. Developing novel methodologies aimed at clinical practice represents a big challenge for the early diagnosis of specific diseases. Within this context, nanotechnology represents a wide emerging area at the forefront of research over the last two decades, whose potential has yet to be fully attained. Nanomedicine, derived from nanotechnology, can exploit the unique properties of nanometer-sized particles for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Through nanomedicine, specific treatment to counteract only cancer-cell proliferation will be improved, while leaving healthy cells intact. In this review, we dissect the properties of different nanocarriers and their roles in the early detection and treatment of cancer.
Keywords: nanotechnology biomarker; nano–microRNA; target therapy.