Detecting Disease with Gold-Coated Biosensors
Biosensors fabricated from nanoengineered mesoporous gold can spot early disease through miRNA detection
Liv Gaskill | | Quick Read
Every winner deserves gold – the basis of a self-fulfilling prophecy for researchers from the University of Queensland. As champions(!) of early disease diagnosis, they’ve been working on their own “gold” – specifically, mesoporous gold biosensors for detecting disease-specific miRNA (1).
Clinical use of miRNA detection technology is currently limited by the need for sophisticated (and expensive) laboratory equipment. The new biosensor uses nanoengineered mesoporous gold as both a signal transducer and signal amplifier, eliminating the need for enzymatic target amplification. The result: a portable and cost-effective device for detecting miRNA.
The team anticipate that a commercial version of their sensor will be available for use within the next five years, allowing clinicians to detect diseases, including cancer, in their earliest stages. Will these new sensors one day be a literal “gold standard” for early diagnosis?
- MK Masud et al., Biosens Bioelectron, [Epub ahead of print] (2020).