Harvesting miRNAs from Interstitial Fluid for Sensitive Biomarkers

Categories: “Medical and Research Devices

Reference #: 2017-018

OTC Contact: Sharon E. Pula, Esq. (Directory Information | Send a Message)


A device for determining the presence of miRNAs in interstitial fluid (ISF)


  • Detection of “miRNA signatures”  that occur in various diseases, such as cancers, cardiovascular disease, diseases of the lung, kidney, and nervous system
  • Tackles the critical need for less invasive or noninvasive procedures for the detection of circulating miRNA biomarkers
  • Prognostic tool for monitoring and assessing disease progression


  • Use of ISF instead of blood, plasma, or serum eliminates the need to denature and remove sample proteins which otherwise may lead to sample “noise”
  • The concentration of miRNAs can be detected using quantitative polymerase chain reaction, the gold standard for miRNA quantification
  • miRNAs are surprisingly stable in spite of the high amounts of enzymatic RNases circulating in the blood of cancer patients
  • Collected by less arduous and non-invasive means


Human and animal studies have demonstrated the significance of miRNA in developmental processes and in various disease pathologies since alterations in miRNA levels have been associated with several diseases. Routine miRNA biopsies from organ tissue are often impractical and invasive.

Researchers at Georgetown University have created a device to exploit the diagnostic and prognostic potential of miRNAs as biomarkers for cancer and other disease states. The device makes use of transdermal microfluidic technology to help in the transfer process of ISF from the skin surface to a collection port for subsequent aspiration and analysis.

Stage of Development

Reduced to practice and tested.


Makarand Paranjape

Patent Status

US Patent No. 11,247,206