The group's paper, "Towards Nonspecific Detection of Malignant Cervical Cells with Fluorescent Silica Beads," is published in Small (Volume 5 Issue 20, Pages 2,277 - 2,284).
Methods for detection of cancer cells are mostly based on traditional techniques used in biology, such as visual identification of malignant changes, cell-growth analysis or genetic tests.
Despite being well developed, these methods are either insufficiently accurate or require a lengthy complicated analysis, which is impractical for clinical use.
Sokolov and his team hope that the physical sciences can help to develop an alternative method in the detection of cancer cells, which will be more precise and simpler.
His group reports in Small on a method to detect cancer cells by using nonspecific (just physical) adhesion of silica beads to cells.
This finding is based on their recently published results in Nature Nanotechnology, where they reported on observation of unknown before difference in surface physical properties of cancerous and normal human epithelial cervical cells. Specifically, they found a substantial difference in the brush layer on the cell surface. This difference was the main motivation for their present work. The difference in the brush was expected to lead to the differences in the adhesion of various particles to such cells.
The adhesion was studied with the help of atomic force microscopy (AFM). Silica beads were attached to the AFM cantilever, and consequently, touched the cell surfaces. The force needed to separate the bead from the cell, the adhesion force, was measured.
The difference in adhesion, which has an essentially physical nature, was used to distinguish between cancerous and normal cells. High adhesion resulted in more particles adhered to cells. Utilizing fluorescent silica particle, one can easily measure the amount of fluorescent light coming from such cells.
The researchers used ultrabright fluorescent silica particles − the brightest particles ever synthesized -- also developed by Sokolov's team. Using cells collected from cervical cancers of three cancer patients and cells extracted from tissue of healthy patients, the researchers found an unambiguous difference.
This achievement can lead to earlier detection and treatment of cancer, which is important to decrease fatality of this disease considerably.
While this finding might advance to novel methods in diagnosis and treatment, including improved speed, convenience and accuracy, Sokolov says “The problem is in the variability of human subjects. The difference was found for six human subjects. This might be enough for a demonstration, but it is not sufficient to speak about a new clinical method. More statistics must be collected before we can speak about clinical applications.” As the team prepares a more detailed summary of results, he and Biology Professor Craig Woodworth are writing a proposal for further study to the National Institutes of Health.
The team consists of Sokolov, who has appointments in Physics, Chemistry and Biomolecular Science; Woodworth, a cervical cancer expert; Maxim Dokukin, a physics postdoctoral fellow; and Ravi M. Gaikwad and Nataliaa Guz, physics graduate students. The other members of Sokolov’s group, Eun-Bum Cho (physics postdoctoral fellow), and physics graduate students Dmytro Volkov and Shyuzhene Li, work on biosensors, self-assembly of particles, and the study of skin aging.
The research was done within the Nanoengineering and Biotechnology Laboratories Center (NABLAB) led by Sokolov, a unit established to promote cross-disciplinary collaborations within the University. It comprises more than a dozen faculty members to capitalize on the expertise of Clarkson scholars in the areas of cancer cell research, fine particles for bio and medical applications, synthesis of smart materials, advancement biosensors, etc.
Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.
Michael P. Griffin | Newswise Science News
Narcolepsy, scientists unmask the culprit of an enigmatic disease
20.09.2018 | Universitätsspital Bern
The FiTS app now offering cooking videos as it expands its concept for long-term behavior modification
18.09.2018 | vitaliberty GmbH
Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.
"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...
A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.
Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...
Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.
An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...
Graphene is considered a promising candidate for the nanoelectronics of the future. In theory, it should allow clock rates up to a thousand times faster than today’s silicon-based electronics. Scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P), have now shown for the first time that graphene can actually convert electronic signals with frequencies in the gigahertz range – which correspond to today’s clock rates – extremely efficiently into signals with several times higher frequency. The researchers present their results in the scientific journal “Nature”.
Graphene – an ultrathin material consisting of a single layer of interlinked carbon atoms – is considered a promising candidate for the nanoelectronics of the...
03.09.2018 | Event News
27.08.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Event News
19.09.2018 | Life Sciences
19.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
19.09.2018 | Information Technology