miRNA are implicated in a number of diseases and cancers. Despite the fact that their different roles in physiological and pathological cell processes are still under investigation, there is already more and more interest in considering them as future key diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. Indeed, they are conveniently present in blood, and furthermore, their small size makes them relatively robust compared to messenger RNAs. They are well conserved into poor quality samples such as FFPE samples allowing the best hopes when exploring biobanks of tissues.
Accurate and convenient technologies aimed at profiling miRNA expression from such biobanks and blood opens up a promising era in biomarker discovery for personalized healthcare.
But still, we need to find an efficient profiling approach to cover the full miRnome that contains about 2000 Human miRNA…
What could be the right method of profiling?
The fastest and the most affordable method is microarray-based screening. Unfortunately, though ordinary microarrays show reasonable reproducibility, accuracy and sensitivity, it may not be enough in many cases with the small amount of miRNA into blood samples and biopsies. Improvement is definitely required to make microarray profiling useful for personalized healthcare.
Welcome to a new dimension in miRNA microarrays
The Toray company has developped microarrays with 3 dimension structure.
Thanks to their expertise in chemistry and nanostructure they have designed microarrays with probes on peaks. What is this 3D-structure for? To put microbeads between the peaks, so that they can move freely without touching the probes. This makes it the first and unique agitation system for microarrays.
Agitation makes the miRNA meet the probes far more efficiently than with a 2D structure. Not surprisingly, it enhances the signal by 100-fold and improves the signal quality, which is a major improvement in sensitivity. It has been shown that the 3D-structure microarrays detect more miRNA than ordinary ones. Even low abundance targets can be detected, and reproducibility is also greatly improved. Combined with an optimized miRNA extraction method also developped by Toray, it allows reliable miRNA profiling from serum, plasma and tissues. This will surely help translation medicine research soon make a significant leap forward.
Interested in miRNA profiling with Toray’s 3D-gene microarrays & tebu-bio?
For researcher’s convenience, tebu-bio’s European based laboratories now already provide the 3D-gene Toray biotechnology as a service throughout Europe.