MicroRNA amplification and detection technologies: opportunities and challenges for point of care diagnostics

Vivek Priy Dave, Tien Ngo Anh*, Anna-Karin Pernestig, Diana Tilevik, Krishna Kant, Trieu Nguyen, Anders Wolff, Dang Duong Bang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review


The volume of point of care (POC) testing continues to grow steadily due to the increased availability of easy-to-use devices, thus making it possible to deliver less costly care closer to the patient site in a shorter time relative to the central laboratory services. A novel class of molecules called microRNAs have recently gained attention in healthcare management for their potential as biomarkers for human diseases. The increasing interest of miRNAs in clinical practice has led to an unmet need for assays that can rapidly and accurately measure miRNAs at the POC. However, the most widely used methods for analyzing miRNAs, including Northern blot-based platforms, in situ hybridization, reverse transcription qPCR, microarray, and next-generation sequencing, are still far from being used as ideal POC diagnostic tools, due to considerable time, expertize required for sample preparation, and in terms of miniaturizations making them suitable platforms for centralized labs. In this review, we highlight various existing and upcoming technologies for miRNA amplification and detection with a particular emphasis on the POC testing industries. The review summarizes different miRNA targets and signals amplification-based assays, from conventional methods to alternative technologies, such as isothermal amplification, paper-based, oligonucleotide-templated reaction, nanobead-based, electrochemical signaling- based, and microfluidic chip-based strategies. Based on critical analysis of these technologies, the possibilities and feasibilities for further development of POC testing for miRNA diagnostics are addressed and discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Pages (from-to)452-469
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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