Electrical detection of RNA cancer biomarkers at the single-molecule level

12 April 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Cancer is a significant healthcare issue, and early screening methods based on biomarker analysis in liquid biopsies are promising avenues to reduce mortality rates. Electrical detection of nucleic acids at the single molecule level could enable these applications. We examine the electrical detection of RNA cancer biomarkers (KRAS mutants G12C and G12V) as a single-molecule proof-of-concept electrical biosensor for cancer screening applications. We show that the electrical conductance is highly sensitive to the sequence, allowing discrimination of the mutants from a wild-type KRAS sequence differing in just one base. In addition to this high specificity, our results also show that these biosensors are sensitive down to an individual molecule with a high signal-to-noise ratio. These results pave the way for future miniaturized single-molecule electrical biosensors that could be groundbreaking for cancer screening and other applications.


cancer biomarkers
biomolecular electronics
molecular electronics

Supplementary materials

Supplementary Information for Electrical detection of RNA cancer biomarkers at the single-molecule level
All data that are not provided in the main text are available in the supplementary information. This supplementary information contains additional details and results that support the findings presented in the main text. It is recommended to read both the main text and supplementary information for a comprehensive understanding of the study.


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