Scientists developed an innovative nanodevice, which based on the technology of cancer (lat. Carcinoma) biomarkers isolating. It has the ability to detach microRNA as cancer biomarker from DNA/RNA mixtures received from cells in less than 100 ms. Due to the speed of separation and resolution, it will provide the fast diagnostic of different types of cells.

The innovational device was developed and designed by the group of scientists from the Nagoya University in cooperation with the Kyushu University, Hokkaido University and Osaka University.

The ribonucleic acid (RNA) is one of the 3 basic macromolecules that are found in the cells of all living organisms and play a significant role in coding, reading, regulation and expression of genes. Short parts of RNA, which are called microRNA (miRNA) are more durable than RNA chains and are situated in body' liquids. It is characterized by stability, resistance to mechanical and enzymatic degradation, and ability to circulate in bodily fluids for an extended time. The amount of microRNA in body' liquids including blood, saliva, and urine is correlated with the appearance and progression of cancer. In other words, miRNA can be as the biomarker of cancer, which provides fast, effective and non-invasive method of diagnostic.

To use microRNA in the process of cancer detection scientists need to isolate it. They found the way to detach miRNA from RNA in less than 100 ms. Selective binding and purification of small RNA molecules on the membrane is achieved by using an optimum ethanol concentration. The process of extracting miRNA is significant for the consequent steps of quantification and single-chip sequencing, and ultimately determines the quality of the obtained data.

The novel nanodevice consists of a quartz substrate, which includes a 25×100 μm array of nanopillars (nanometer-scale pillar structure of 250-nm in diameter and 100-nm in height) in shallow nanoslits (100-nm in height and 25-μm in width). The researcher's group managed to optimize the separation performing almost total separation of microRNA from DNA in just 20 ms. Currently, it is the fastest result. The separation with the high resolution was realized in 100 ms. The nanodevice has the ability to divide it due to the different mobilities of these materials within the nanopillar that was fabricated inside microchannels.

Consequently, this new device, which provides fast detachment, will allow doctors to identify cancer in the fast, effective and non-invasive way.