Seek and destroy tumors, and report, "mission accomplished"

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley have created nanoprobes that not only selectively seek and destroy tumor cells, but also report the status of their work. The team's innovation involved combining different materials–roughened gold on one side, and smooth polystyrene on the other–onto a single, multi-functioning "nanocoral." The name was inspired by natural sea corals, which use rough surfaces to capture light and food. The nanocoral surface captures molecules near the probes, and reports their presence, said Ph.D. student Benjamin Ross, one of two co-lead authors of the study reported in the February 22 issue of the journal Small. "The type of molecules present–or absent–at the cell's surface can provide telltale signs of how a cell is reacting to the new drug being delivered," he explained.

The technique uses surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), which takes advantage of electromagnetic excitations that occur as molecules make contact with the roughened surface of a metal. Molecules produce oscillations that resonate at signature frequencies when exposed to laser light, revealing their presence to the scientists.

Click to Enlarge

The researchers verified the sensitivity of the nanocoral by measuring its ability to detect a standard chemical compound for Raman spectroscopy. To get the nanocoral to target specific cells, they leveraged the capability to attach antibodies to polymer surfaces. "We can tailor the nanocoral to cancer cells of interest by attaching the appropriate antibodies," said the study's other co-lead author, Liz Wu. The researchers demonstrated this concept by coating the polystyrene surface with antibodies that attack human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2). They confirmed with both bright field and fluorescent images that the nanocoral attached to breast cancer cells with HER-2 receptors, while control experiments showed that no binding occurred when different antibodies or when cells lacking HER-2 were used.

More Brand Name Current Issue Articles
More Brand Name Archives Issue Articles

Get All the BioOptics World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to BioOptics World Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now
Related Articles

New bioimaging technique offers clear view of nervous system

Scientists at Ludwig-Maximilians University have developed a technique for turning the body of a deceased rodent entirely transparent, revealing the central nervous system in unprecedented clarity....

Fluorescent jellyfish proteins light up unconventional laser

Safer lasers to map your cells could soon be in the offing -- all thanks to the humble jellyfish. Conventional lasers, like the pointer you might use to entertain your cat, produce light by emittin...

Fluorescence microscopy helps provide new insight into how cancer cells metastasize

By using fluorescence microscopy, scientists have discovered an alternate theory on how some cancer cells metastasize.

In vivo imaging method visualizes bone-resorbing cell function in real time

In vivo imaging can visualize sites where osteoclasts (bone-resorbing cells) were in the process of resorbing bone.

BLOGS

Neuro15 exhibitors meet exacting demands: Part 2

Increasingly, neuroscientists are working with researchers in disciplines such as chemistry and p...

Why be free?

A successful career contributed to keeping OpticalRayTracer—an optical design software program—fr...

LASER Munich 2015 is bio-bent

LASER World of Photonics 2015 included the European Conferences on Biomedical Optics among its si...

White Papers

Understanding Optical Filters

Optical filters can be used to attenuate or enhance an image, transmit or reflect specific wavele...

How can I find the right digital camera for my microscopy application?

Nowadays, image processing is found in a wide range of optical microscopy applications. Examples ...

CONNECT WITH US

            

Twitter- BioOptics World

Copyright © 2007-2016. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved.PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS