Binding gold nanoparticles to a specific antibody for cancer cells could make cancer detection much easier, suggests research at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). The report is published online as an ASAP article in the journal Nano Letters.
Gold nanoparticles stick to cancer cells and make them shine.
Gold nanoparticles don’t stick as well to noncancerous cells. The results can be seen with a simple microscope.
“Gold nanoparticles are very good at scattering and absorbing light,” said Mostafa El-Sayed, director of the Laser Dyanamics Laboratory and chemistry professor at Georgia Tech. “We wanted to see if we could harness that scattering property in a living cell to make cancer detection easier. So far, the results are extremely promising.”
Many cancer cells have a protein, known as Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EFGR), all over their surface, while healthy cells typically do not express the protein as strongly. By conjugating, or binding, the gold nanoparticles to an antibody for EFGR, suitably named anti-EFGR, researchers were able to get the nanoparticles to attach themselves to the cancer cells.
David Terraso | EurekAlert!
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