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Novel miRNA libraries preparation method for massive sequencing using nanotechnology

Country of Origin: Spain
Reference Number: TOES20210120001
Publication Date: 20 January 2021


A Spanish university has developed a new library manufacturing method for analyzing miRNAs with massively parallel sequencing (miRNA-seq). The method uses nanotechnology that avoids the ligation reaction during the library preparation, a common step in this process and the main source of bias. The university is looking for partners from the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry interested in licensing this patented technology.


A microRNA (abbreviated miRNA) is a small single-stranded non-coding RNA molecule found in plants, animals and viruses, that functions in RNA silencing and regulating in the expression of numerous genes. 

The deregulation of these miRNAs is associated with most of the human chronic pathological processes (cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases), so their analysis represents a field of increasing relevance. However, its small size and low concentration hinder the study and precise quantification of the miRNA species present in a biological sample.

At present miRNA-sequencing, is postulated as the most promising technique for the analysis of these pathological processes, although problems associated with the library preparation stage make its application difficult.

The present invention developed by a research group from a Spanish university proposes a method of manufacturing miRNA libraries for massive sequencing in the absence of the ligation reaction that commonly leads to the appearance of binding biases since they considerably alter the relative frequencies of the miRNA species.

The new technology uses nanotechnology for the preparation of the libraries and makes it possible to eliminate these binding biases, achieving an increase in efficiency and costs reduction. It uses magnetic particles that have covalently linked oligonucleotides on their surface, on which the miRNA is reverse transcribed and the sequencing adapters are added by Taq polymerase.

The university is looking for partners from the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry interested in licensing this patented technology.

Advantages and Innovations

- Reduction of biases. Ligation bias is an unsolved methodological problem whose error is difficult to quantify. The use of nanotechnology allows eliminating the ligation reactions of the process and, consequently, suppressing the biases associated with it.

- Increased efficiency. The novel library manufacturing process achieves an increase in the efficiency of the process that is affected in the usual procedures by the problems associated with the development of the ligation reaction.

- Reproducibility of results. The manufacture of libraries in the absence of a ligation reaction makes it possible to solve reproducibility problems due to the biases caused by this reaction.

- Cost reduction. The lesser appearance of problems during the manufacturing process and the consequent improvement in efficiency promotes to reduce the associated costs.

IPR status

Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted

Stage Of Development

Under development/lab tested

Requested partner

The university is looking for companies working with massive-parallel miRNA sequencing (miRNA-seq) and preparation of miRNA libraries in order to reach a license agreement for the patented technology.

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