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Sensors 2008, 8(1), 347-369; doi:10.3390/s8010347

Biosensor Techniques Used for Determination of Telomerase Activity in Cancer Cells

Department of Chemistry & Biomolecular Science, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699-5810, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 December 2007 / Accepted: 15 January 2008 / Published: 21 January 2008


Measuring telomerase activity has proven successful for the determination of cancer in malignant somatic cells. Early conventional methods for the detection of telomerase activity include in vitro analysis via a primer extension assay, and the telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay. TRAP incorporates the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) step to increase the sensitivity of a given sample. However, research suggests that the TRAP technique suffers from false negative results, caused by failure of its PCR step. Other limitations of TRAP include the post-PCR steps involving polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis which are time inefficient. Thus, various efforts have been made to eliminate the PCR step of TRAP by using a variety of biosensor detection devices. This review mainly focuses on these alternatives including: optical, electrochemical, magnetic, and nanowire conductive signaling techniques to measure the telomerase activity produced via label free biosensor assay—via biocatalytic labels involving beacons, DNAzyme, ferrocenyl-naphthalene diimides, avidin-alkaline phosphatase and semiconductor quantum dots (QDs). These biosensor techniques are sensitive and provide precise and rapid results in the detection of telomerase activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: Biosensor; telomerase; electrochemical detection; biocatalytic labels; TRAP assay Biosensor; telomerase; electrochemical detection; biocatalytic labels; TRAP assay

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Kulla, E.; Katz, E. Biosensor Techniques Used for Determination of Telomerase Activity in Cancer Cells. Sensors 2008, 8, 347-369.

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