Nanowire Microfluidics Advances Biomolecule Analysis Technologies

With the introduction of synthetic nanomaterials, groundbreaking research in nanotechnology has led to a tremendous improvement in biomolecular analysis over the past decade. New research involving nanowire oxides as an analytical method for liquid biopsy has been reported in the journal Chemical communications.

To study: Oxide nanowire microfluidics addressing analytical methods previously inaccessible for biomolecules to liquid biopsy. Image Credit: Billion Photos / Shutterstock.com

The study of biomolecules has had a significant impact on our knowledge of the molecular pathways that underlie human well-being and disease. The ability to study biomolecules is expected to make molecular fingerprints a powerful tool for diagnosing disease.

Since biomolecular analysis is primarily determined by the properties of biomolecules, a sensitive approach to overcome existing problems and open new fronts of research is vital. Due to their distinctive attributes and shapes, nanostructures created using self-assembly and nanofabrication methods should be used in bioanalytical fields.

An overview of bioanalytical methods using microfluidic nanowire devices.  The combination of nanowires and microfluidic devices enables analysis of DNA molecules, RNA molecules, proteins, extracellular vesicles and cells.

An overview of bioanalytical methods using microfluidic nanowire devices. The combination of nanowires and microfluidic devices enables analysis of DNA molecules, RNA molecules, proteins, extracellular vesicles and cells. Image Credit: Takahashi, H., et al

Nanowire microfluidic applications

Nanowire microfluidics has unique characteristics that ensure their potential for a wide range of industries. Current efforts have involved the fabrication of nanowire microfluidic devices as well as the creation of biomolecular analysis methods based on the unique characteristics of the devices.

Nanowires have received a lot of attention in bioanalytical and biotechnology applications due to their low diet levels which are comparable to biomolecules with a higher specific surface area ratio, both of which are important criteria for achieving high levels of sensitivity. .

Besides nanowire-based detectors, there are many nanowires used as biotechnological and biomedical tools, due to their ability to interact directly with biomolecules.

The very first arrays of cell-penetrating nanowires for gene delivery, for example, demonstrated that nanowires could be used to transport genes in living mammalian stem cells grown on nanowires. These cells are also said to have a survival rate of up to a week.

Several studies have shown that the characteristics of miRNAs encapsulated by EV using nanowires are essential in cellular transmission and epigenetic regulation, making them a promising new source of liquid biopsy. The efficiency of the device is due to the characteristics of the nanowires as well as to their structural resistance, which is permanently fixed in the adsorbent and not discouraged by the buffer flow. Electrostatic collection is also not affected, allowing negatively charged electric vehicles to be collected more efficiently than standard techniques.

Antimicrobial resistance of genetic material, medical testing of pathogens, and microbial functional genomics of single microbes have all been investigated in this work.

(a) ZnO / Al annealed2oh3 core / shell nanowires were developed as a platform for the capture of RNA molecules.51 (b) Characterization of annealed ZnO / Al2oh3 core / shell nanowires using scanning electron microscopy (SEM; first row left), transmission electron microscopy (TEM; first row right and second row left), X-ray diffraction (second row right) and ray spectroscopy X energy dispersive TEM (third and fourth row).51 Image Credit: Takahashi, H., et al

DNA separation for liquid biopsy using nanowire microfluids

In the biomolecular field, the separation of biomolecules from a complicated mixture is an essential starting point for understanding the biological mechanisms of the individual functions of biomolecules. Given the success of nanotechnology with an array of nanopillars and nanowalls for DNA separation, a method to achieve the desired size range and build bespoke 3D spatial nanostructures remained problematic.

Due to easy manufacturing control for the size and geometric characteristics required, nanowire arrays have emerged as an alternative nanostructure. In addition, the thin shape of the nanowires is advantageous for DNA separation because it can effectively lengthen DNA molecules with low bending distortion. Researchers built an SnO2 nanowire spot-array for DNA modification and separation as one of our first attempts to study nanowire arrays.

Application of nanowire detection for liquid biopsy

The ability to identify biomolecules is crucial for the accurate diagnosis and treatment of malignant tumors and infectious disorders. Molecular biomarkers are one-of-a-kind disease indicators, long recognized for their ability to provide genetic information from the early stages of a disease to its late stages, paving the way for personalized therapy and care. . Nevertheless, the identification of biomolecules is mainly determined by their properties, which are rarely observed in biological materials.

(a) Schematic of DNA extraction in microbial cells.  Cells adsorbed on nanowires are disrupted by nanowire entanglement and membrane stretching.63 (b – d) Schematic diagram of the timing of DNA extraction via nanowire entanglement and snapshots. fluorescence images of DNA extraction from B. subtilis and E. coli. 63

(a) Scheme of DNA extraction in microbial cells. The cells adsorbed on the nanowires are disrupted by entanglement of nanowires and stretching of the membrane.63 (b – d) Schematic diagram of the timing of DNA extraction via nanowire tangle and fluorescence image snapshots of DNA extraction from B. subtilis and E. coli.63 Image Credit: Takahashi, H., et al

Due to the higher specific surface area / volume ratio of the new nanowire technology, 3D nanostructures encapsulated with particular antibodies were able to detect tumor cells more efficiently. A polymeric nanowire system has also been shown to be excellent for the capture and release of biomolecules using a simple electrochemical technique. These nanowire systems have demonstrated increased efficiency in biomolecule capture, allowing high sensitivity and precise identification.

Development of research for the years to come

Further commercialization of liquid biopsy for many diseases, including cancer, will be accomplished when nanowire devices are developed. Biomolecules present in body fluids will be used as diagnostic markers.

Developments in methods of extraction, separation and detection of diseases related to biomolecules and other breakthroughs in nanowire detectors for the combinatorial detection of biological molecules such as proteins and nucleic acids are expected to develop over the years. future.

Continue reading: Nanotechnology and Biotechnology – Similarities and Differences.

Reference

Takahashi, H., et al. (2021). Oxide nanowire microfluidics addressing analytical methods previously inaccessible for biomolecules to liquid biopsy. Royal Society of Chemistry. DOI: 10.1039 / D1CC05096F

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