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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3659423, 11 pages
Research Article

Rapid Detection and Identification of miRNAs by Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Using Hollow Au Nanoflowers Substrates

Xiaowei Cao,1,2,3,4 Min Bao,1,2 Yibo Shan,1,2 Wei Li,1,2 and Hongcan Shi1,2,5

1Institute of Translational Medicine, Medical College, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225001, China
2Department of Integrative Traditional & Western Medicine, Medical College, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225001, China
3Jiangsu Coinnovation Center for Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, China
4Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Zoonosis, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, China
5Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Experimental & Translational Noncoding RNA Research, Medical College, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225001, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Hongcan Shi; nc.ude.uzy@nacgnohihs

Received 18 June 2017; Accepted 30 August 2017; Published 19 October 2017

Academic Editor: Krishna Kant

Copyright © 2017 Xiaowei Cao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are recognized as regulators of gene expression during the biological processes of cells as well as biomarkers of many diseases. Development of rapid and sensitive miRNA profiling methods is crucial for evaluating the pattern of miRNA expression related to normal and diseased states. This work presents a novel hollow Au nanoflowers (HAuNFs) substrate for rapid detection and identification of miRNAs by surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy. We synthesized the HAuNFs by a seed-mediated growth approach. Then, HAuNFs substrates were fabricated by depositing HAuNFs onto the surfaces of (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane- (APTES-) functionalized ITO glass. The result demonstrated that HAuNFs substrates had very good reproducibility, homogeneous SERS activity, and high SERS effect. The substrates enabled us to successfully obtain the SERS spectra of miR-10a-5p, miR-125a-5p, and miR-196a-5p. The difference spectra among the three kinds of miRNAs were studied to better interpret the spectral differences and identify miRNA expression patterns with high accuracy. The principal component analysis (PCA) of the SERS spectra was used to distinguish among the three kinds of miRNAs. Considering its time efficiency, being label-free, and its sensitivity, the SERS based on HAuNFs substrates is very promising for miRNA research and plays an important role in early disease detection and prevention.