SmartFlare™ probes employ inert nanoparticle technology to detect native RNA. The probes are added to cell cultures and incubated overnight. RNA detection is then performed using any fluorescent detection platform. Once an experiment is complete, the nontoxic probes exit cells on their own, allowing researchers to perform subsequent downstream analyses on the same cells. Because SmartFlare probes allow researchers to work on live, not lysed, cells, the technology can track changes in RNA over time. The probes also enable gene expression analyses that can reveal links between gene expression profiles and phenotypes. In addition, the SmartFlare probes can be used to sort cell types that are traditionally difficult to isolate, using biologically relevant intracellular RNA markers.