For proper cancer treatment, it is critically important to know the extent of the disease. Any operation should completely remove all affected tissue. In order to catch stray cells that may have already moved on into healthy tissue it is necessary to take out healthy adjacent tissue and sometimes other affected organs and lymph nodes.
Japanese researchers working with Yuji Miyahara have now developed a technique that allows for the quick and easy differentiation between diseased and healthy tissue. As the scientists report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the method is based on the direct potentiometric measurement of a tumor marker on cell surfaces.
The cells in our bodies have chains made of special sugar components on their surfaces. Sialic acid is one of these sugar building blocks and is often found at the ends of the sugar chains. These sugar chains can serve as a signal for the detection of certain pathological processes. For example, certain types of cancer involve an overproduction of sialic acid in the tumor cells, which causes these molecules to build up in the cell membrane. This increase in membrane-bound sialic acid can be detected in blood serum and is occasionally used as a test for the early detection of cancer.
The research team from the University of Tokyo and National Institute for Materials Science (Japan) has now developed an interesting new method for the detection of elevated sialic acid levels that can quickly, easily, and directly determine whether a tissue sample contains malignant mutated cells, and how far the metastasis of a tumor has progressed. For their potentiometric process, the researchers use the fact that sialic acid specifically binds to a compound named phenylboronic acid (PBA). Related sugar molecules do not bind to PBA. The scientists coated gold electrodes with a layer of PBA. If the coated electrodes come into contact with a sample that contains cells with sialic acid, the cells bind to the PBA through their sialic acid molecules. Cells that contain many sialic acid molecules bind more strongly to the electrode. This changes the electrical properties of the electrode. Changes in surface potential are then monitored and used to quantify the sialic acid concentration in the sample.
To carry out the test, a sample of the suspicious tissue must simply be extracted and suspended. The number of cells contained in a defined volume of the suspension is then determined, and the suspension is poured over the electrode. No other sample preparation is required. Carried out in parallel to established histological tests, the potentiometric examination could rapidly deliver supplementary information about the malignancy of tumors and the degree of metastasis.
Author: Yuji Miyahara, University of Tokyo (Japan), http://park.itc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/CNBI/e/member/mem_miyahara.html
Title: Assessment of Tumor Metastasis by the Direct Determination of Cell-Membrane Sialic Acid Expression
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2010, 49, No. 32, 5494–5497, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201001220
Yuji Miyahara | Angewandte Chemie
Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY
NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences