Biosensors for liquid biopsy: circulating nucleic acids to diagnose and treat cancer
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The detection of cancer biomarkers freely circulating in blood offers new opportunities for cancer early diagnosis, patient follow-up, and therapy efficacy assessment based on liquid biopsy. In particular, circulating cell-free nucleic acids released from tumor cells have recently attracted great attention also because they become detectable in blood before the appearance of other circulating biomarkers, such as circulating tumor cells. The detection of circulating nucleic acids poses several technical challenges that arise from their low concentration and relatively small size. Here, possibilities offered by innovative biosensing approaches for the detection of circulating DNA in peripheral blood and blood-derived products such as plasma and serum blood are discussed. Different transduction principles are used to detect circulating DNAs and great advantages are derived from the combined use of nanostructured materials.