MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small endogenous non-coding RNAs of ~22 nucleotides that play important functions in the regulation of many biological processes, including cell proliferation, differentiation, and death. Since their expression has been in close association with the development of many diseases, recently, miRNAs have been regarded as clinically important biomarkers and drug discovery targets. However, because of the short length, high sequence similarity and low abundance of miRNAs in vivo
, it is difficult to realize the sensitive and selective detection of miRNAs with conventional methods. In line with the rapid development of nanotechnology, nanomaterials have attracted great attention and have been intensively studied in biological analysis due to their unique chemical, physical and size properties. In particular, fluorimetric methodologies in combination with nanotechnology are especially rapid, sensitive and efficient. The aim of this review is to provide insight into nanomaterials-based fluorimetric methods for the detection of miRNAs, including metal nanomaterials, quantum dots (QDs), graphene oxide (GO) and silicon nanoparticles.
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