Long term storage of miRNA at room and elevated temperatures in a silica sol-gel matrix

Rajat Chauhan, Theodore S. Kalbfleisch, Chinmay S. Potnis, Meenakshi Bansal, Mark W. Linder, Robert S. Keynton, Gautam Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Storage of biospecimens in their near native environment at room temperature can have a transformative global impact, however, this remains an arduous challenge to date due to the rapid degradation of biospecimens over time. Currently, most isolated biospecimens are refrigerated for short-term storage and frozen (-20 °C, -80 °C, liquid nitrogen) for long-term storage. Recent advances in room temperature storage of purified biomolecules utilize anhydrobiosis. However, a near aqueous storage solution that can preserve the biospecimen nearly "as is"has not yet been achieved by any current technology. Here, we demonstrate an aqueous silica sol-gel matrix for optimized storage of biospecimens. Our technique is facile, reproducible, and has previously demonstrated stabilization of DNA and proteins, within a few minutes using a standard benchtop microwave. Herein, we demonstrate complete integrity of miRNA 21, a highly sensitive molecule at 4, 25, and 40 °C over a period of ∼3 months. In contrast, the control samples completely degrade in less than 1 week. We attribute excellent stability to entrapment of miRNA within silica-gel matrices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31505-31510
Number of pages6
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number50
StatePublished - Sep 8 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Authors acknowledge nancial support from the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation at the University of Louisville (UofL). Author also acknowledge nan-cial support from National Cancer Institute (NCI) exploratory/ development grant [ID: Grant number: 1R21CA251042-01]. Gupta acknowledge the startup funds from University of Louisville. We acknowledge Price Institute of Surgical Research, Hiram C. Polk Jr MD Dept of Surgery, School of Medicine (UofL) for their qRT-PCR technical support and Nanotherapeutics laboratory, Bioengineering Department (UofL) for sterilized biological hood/accessories support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)


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