One-Step in Situ Detection of miRNA-21 Expression in Single Cancer Cells Based on Biofunctionalized MoS2Nanosheets

Gerile Oudeng, Manting Au, Jingyu Shi, Chunyi Wen, Mo Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


Here, we report the one-step in situ detection of targeted miRNAs expression in single living cancer cells via MoS2nanosheet-based fluorescence on/off probes. The strategy is based on the folic acid (FA)-poly(ethylene glycol)-functionalized MoS2nanosheets with adsorbed dye-labeled single-stranded DNA (ssDNA). Once the nanoprobes are internalized into cancer cells, the hybridization between the probes and target miRNA results in the detachment of dye-labeled ssDNA from MoS2nanosheets surface, leading to the green fluorescence recovery. In this nanoprobe, MoS2nanosheets offer advantages of high fluorescence quenching efficiency and extremely low toxicity. The FA conjugation could protect the probes and improve cancer cell transfection efficiency. The ability of this nanoprobe for endogenous miRNA detection in single living cancer cells is demonstrated for two types of cancer cells with different miRNA-21 expressions (MCF-7 and Hela cells). This functionalized MoS2nanosheet-based nanoprobes could provide a sensitive and real-time detection of intracellular miRNA detection platform.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-360
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2018


  • cancer cells
  • fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)
  • in situ detection
  • miRNAs
  • MoS nanosheets 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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