Single-molecule counting of cancer biomarker RNAs in human biofluids

Project ID: 734

Cube proposed by: Nils Walter

Unit: LSA: Natural Sciences

Cycle: MCubed 2.0

Cube Accomplishments Click here for more details
6 accomplishments including $700,000 in research funding!
About this project: 
The ultimate goal of this proposal is to develop a technology platform for the rapid, robust single molecule analysis of extracellular RNA (exRNA) biomarkers for cancer detection. ExRNAs are blood- or urine-borne, cell-free, both short and long non-coding RNAs released from cells through apoptosis or possibly as external signaling molecules. Many of them are stable in human biofluids over days, rendering them of high interest as clinical biomarkers in disease diagnosis and epidemiology. Procedural, assay, and study cohort heterogeneity has led to both false-positive and false-negative exRNA-cancer associations, hampering clinical application. We recently developed an innovative technology, termed SiMREPS, for the direct single-molecule identification and counting of exRNAs in crude biofluids without the need for either amplification or labeling, overcoming many of the current challenges in biomarker detection. We propose to critically advance SiMREPS by incorporating multiplexing.