Nucleic acid is the name of a group of biological molecules which are the main information-carrying molecules of the cell. Therefore, these compounds are helpful in recognizing any genetics change. For instance, by knowing the nucleic acids of viruses, we can notice if they are in the body; or in certain biological conditions (like a possibility of cancer) the start of the process will be spotted. The most important nucleic acids are RNA and DNA.
For example, researchers have reported that genetic mutations are a major cause of breast cancer. (Also genetic mutations have also been identified for lung and bone marrow cancer) Now, if people prone to these mutations take tests regularly (for example, several times a year), the activation of the relevant gene that leads to cancer can be detected earlier and preventive or therapeutic measures can be started before the start of the disease.
It is very crucial to detect the activation of these genes, and one of the best ways is to use magnetic Nano-beads. These nano-beads are able to detect the relevant nucleic acids. Detection of the nucleic acid is done by special chemical molecules that are placed on the nano-beads. These molecules interact with the nucleic acid and get attached to them.
The process for this diagnosis for RNA (for example in virus diagnosis) is:
-Preparation of a sample containing RNA-Destructing the cellular tissue around the RNA with chemical compounds
-Addition of magnetic nano-beads to attach to the RNA
-Washing and separation of the excess materials from the mixture
-Separation of the magnetic nano-beads from the RNA by using high-strength magnets
-Obtaining pure magnet
Here is a short film of the adsorption of nano-beads by magnets: