Cervical cancer could be diagnosed earlier with new DNA biosensor

By Isabel Cameron

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags Cancer Cervical cancer Oncology Dna

Researchers from Chung-Ang University, Korea have developed a novel DNA biosensor which could result in early diagnosis of cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women globally. Each year in the United States, about 11,500 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed with approximately 4,000 women die of this cancer.

In addition, women living with HIV are 6 times more likely to develop cervical cancer compared to women without HIV, and an estimated 5% of all cervical cancer cases are attributable to HIV. 

A more recent development in cervical cancer prevention​ is the vaccination programme for human papillomavirus (HPV​).

Diagnosis of cervical cancer involves detection of target DNAs produced from human papillomavirus (HPV)-16 and HPV-18.

Against this backdrop, associate professor Eunah Kang and Youngjun Kim from the Chung-Ang’s School of Chemical Engineering and Material Science, developed an electrochegmical DNA biosensor using a graphitic nano-onion/molybdenum disulfide (MoS2​) nanosheet composite.

These nanosheets are created by the stacking of S–Mo–S layers interacting via Van der Waals interactions.

The duo measured the sensitivity of their novel electrochemical DNA biosensor device towards HPV-16 and HPV-18 by employing differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) technique in the presence of methylene blue (MB) as a redox indicator.

Dr. Kang elaborates: “The DPV current peak was lowered after probe DNA chemisorption and target DNA hybridization. Since the hybridized DNA was double-stranded, it induced less effective MB electrostatic intercalation, resulting in a lower oxidation peak.”

Notably, the target DNAs produced from HPV-16 and HPV-18 Siha and Hela cancer cell lines were detected by the proposed sensor effectively and with high specificity.

Consequently, this biosensor can effectively detect human papillomavirus (HPV)-16 and HPV-18, therefore acting as an early diagnosis of cervical cancer​.

According to the institution, this breakthrough could open doors to the development of electrochemical biosensors for early diagnosis of various conditions.

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