The approach was demonstrated in human samples, and researchers are now developing the technique for placement on a chip, which could provide fast, simple and reliable information about a patient. A diagnostic device based on this chip also could be made portable.
The researchers developed a silver-based nanoparticle that homes in on a specific molecular marker that spills into the bloodstream at the first stages of an infection. When light is aimed at the sample, the nanoparticle attached to a molecular marker will reflect a distinct optical fingerprint.
"We have demonstrated for the first time that the use of these nanoprobes can detect specific genetic materials taken from human samples," said Tuan Vo-Dinh, the R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke' Pratt School of Engineering and director of The Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics at Duke. He is also a professor of chemistry.
The results of the Duke experiments appear online in the journal Analytica Chimica Acta. Hsin-Neng Wang, a post-doctoral fellow in Vo-Dinh's laboratory, was the first author of the paper.
In this interdisciplinary project, the Vo-Dinh team collaborated closely with scientists at Duke's Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy (IGSP) who have developed a method of measuring the host's response to infection through RNA profiling.
The research is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Projects Agency, the Department of Defense and the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation.
In the Duke experiments, the nanoprobes are used in conjunction with a phenomenon first described in the 1970s known as surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). When light, usually from a laser, is shined on a sample, the target molecule vibrates and scatters back in its own unique light, often referred to as the Raman scatter. However, this Raman response is extremely weak.
"When the target molecule is coupled with a metal nanoparticle or nanostructure, the Raman response is greatly enhanced by the SERS effect – often by more than a million times," said Vo-Dinh, who has been studying the potential applications of SERS for decades.
"This important proof-of-concept study now paves the way for the development of devices that measure multiple genome-derived markers that will assist with more accurate and rapid diagnosis of infectious disease at the point of care," said Geoffrey Ginsburg, director of genomic medicine at the IGSP, executive director of the Center for Personalized Medicine at Duke Medicine, and a professor of medicine and pathology.
"This would guide care decisions that will lead to more effective treatment and improved outcomes of antimicrobial therapy," Ginsburg said. "Point-of-care diagnostics holds great promise to accelerate precision medicine and, more importantly, help patients in limited-resource settings gain access to molecular testing."
Other members of the team were Pratt's Andrew Fales and IGSP's Aimee Zaas, Christopher Woods and Thomas Burke.
Citation: "SERS Molecular Sentinel Nanoprobes for Viral Infection Diagnostics," Hsin-Neng Wang, et.al, Analytica Chimica Acta, 5 July 2013. DOI 10.1016/j.aca.2013.05.017
Richard Merritt | EurekAlert!
One step closer to reality
20.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie
The dark side of cichlid fish: from cannibal to caregiver
20.04.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy