Gold probes could lead to improved disease diagnosis and tracking

Edinburgh, Scotland--Research by Colin Campbell at the University of Edinburgh could lead to improvements in diagnosing and treating diseases.

Edinburgh, Scotland--Research by Colin Campbell at the University of Edinburgh (www.ed.ac.uk) could lead to improvements in diagnosing and treating diseases. See also “Disease diagnosis and treatment goes for gold”.

A new technique involving gold-coated particles and low-powered lasers provides a detailed look at the progress of a disease. Once the probe is inside a cell, laser light shone onto it is absorbed then re-emitted, causing nearby proteins in the cell to vibrate according to their shape. The changing shape of molecules as a disease progresses give rises to different vibrational frequencies. Scientists can measure and interpret these vibrations, to understand how the cell is responding to disease.

Campbell said, “By creating a sensor that can safely be implanted into tissue and combining this with a sensitive light-measurement technique, we have developed a useful device that will help diagnose and track disease in patients.”

The research, funded by EaStCHEM, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, was published in the journals Chemical Communications, the Journal of Biophotonics, and ACSNano.

--Posted by Gail Overton; gailo@pennwell.com; www.laserfocusworld.com.

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