Ultrasensitive detection of miRNA with an antimonene-based surface plasmon resonance sensor

Tianyu Xue, Weiyuan Liang, Yawen Li, Yuanhui Sun, Yuanjiang Xiang, Yupeng Zhang, Zhigao Dai, Yanhong Duo, Leiming Wu, Kun Qi, Bannur Nanjunda Shivananju, Lijun Zhang, Xiaoqiang Cui, Han Zhang, Qiaoliang Bao

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153 Citations (Scopus)


MicroRNA exhibits differential expression levels in cancer and can affect cellular transformation, carcinogenesis and metastasis. Although fluorescence techniques using dye molecule labels have been studied, label-free molecular-level quantification of miRNA is extremely challenging. We developed a surface plasmon resonance sensor based on two-dimensional nanomaterial of antimonene for the specific label-free detection of clinically relevant biomarkers such as miRNA-21 and miRNA-155. First-principles energetic calculations reveal that antimonene has substantially stronger interaction with ssDNA than the graphene that has been previously used in DNA molecule sensing, due to thanking for more delocalized 5s/5p orbitals in antimonene. The detection limit can reach 10 aM, which is 2.3–10,000 times higher than those of existing miRNA sensors. The combination of not-attempted-before exotic sensing material and SPR architecture represents an approach to unlocking the ultrasensitive detection of miRNA and DNA and provides a promising avenue for the early diagnosis, staging, and monitoring of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2019

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