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Diagnostics Technology and innovation, Point of care testing

Detecting Disease with Gold-Coated Biosensors

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?

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  1. MK Masud et al., Biosens Bioelectron, [Epub ahead of print] (2020).

About the Author

Olivia Gaskill

During my undergraduate degree in psychology and Master’s in neuroimaging for clinical and cognitive neuroscience, I realized the tasks my classmates found tedious – writing essays, editing, proofreading – were the ones that gave me the greatest satisfaction. I quickly gathered that rambling on about science in the bar wasn’t exactly riveting for my non-scientist friends, so my thoughts turned to a career in science writing. At Texere, I get to craft science into stories, interact with international experts, and engage with readers who love science just as much as I do.

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