MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are promising biomarkers for the early diagnosis of breast cancer. Yet, simultaneous achievement of rapid, sensitive and accurate detection of diverse miRNAs in clinical samples is still challenging due to the low abundance of miRNAs and the complex procedures of RNA extraction and separation. Herein, we develop an innovative three-dimensional (3D) surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) holography sensing strategy for rapid, sensitive and multiplexed detection of human breast cancer-associated miRNAs. To establish a proof of concept, nine kinds of human breast cancer-associated miRNAs are isothermally amplified by Exonuclease (Exo) III enzyme, and the products could be spatially separated to corresponding sensing region on silicon SERS substrates. Each region has been modified with corresponding hairpin DNA probes, which are used to identify and quantify the miRNAs. Different DNA probes are labeled with different Raman reporters, which serve as “SERS tags” to incorporate spectroscopic information into computer-generated 3D SERS hologram within ~9 min. We demonstrate that 3D SERS holography chip not only achieves an ultrahigh sensitivity down to ~1 aM but also feature a high correlation with RT-qPCR in the detection of nine miRNAs in 30 clinical serum samples. This work provides a feasible tool to improve the diagnosis of breast cancer.
Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.