Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gold Nanoparticles May Simplify Cancer Detection

Date:
May 10, 2005
Source:
Georgia Institute of Technology
Summary:
Binding gold nanoparticles to a specific antibody for cancer cells could make cancer detection much easier.

Gold nanoparticles stick to cancer cells and make them shine.
Credit: Image courtesy of Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta (May 9, 2005) — 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 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.


“If you add this conjugated nanoparticle solution to healthy cells and cancerous cells and you look at the image, you can tell with a simple microscope that the whole cancer cell is shining,” said El-Sayed. “The healthy cell doesn’t bind to the nanoparticles specifically, so you don’t see where the cells are. With this technique, if you see a well defined cell glowing, that’s cancer.”


In the study, researchers found that the gold nanoparticles have 600 percent greater affinity for cancer cells than for noncancerous cells. The particles that worked the best were 35 nanometers in size. Researchers tested their technique using cell cultures of two different types of oral cancer and one nonmalignant cell line. The shape of the strong absorption spectrum of the gold nanoparticles are also found to distinguish between cancer cells and noncancerous cells.

What makes this technique so promising, said El-Sayed, is that it doesn’t require expensive high-powered microscopes or lasers to view the results, as other techniques require. All it takes is a simple, inexpensive microscope and white light.

Another benefit is that the results are instantaneous. “If you take cells from a cancer stricken tissue and spray them with these gold nanoparticles that have this antibody you can see the results immediately. The scattering is so strong that you can detect a single particle,” said El-Sayed.

Finally, the technique isn’t toxic to human cells. A similar technique using artificial atoms known as Quantum Dots uses semiconductor crystals to mark cancer cells, but the semiconductor material is potentially toxic to the cells and humans.

“This technique is very simple and inexpensive to use,” said El-Sayed. “We think it holds great promise in making cancer detection easier, faster and less expensive.”

The research team consisted of El-Sayed, along with his son Ivan El-Sayed, head and neck surgeon at the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center and Tech graduate student Xiaohua Huang.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgia Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgia Institute of Technology. "Gold Nanoparticles May Simplify Cancer Detection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 May 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050509171246.htm>.
Georgia Institute of Technology. (2005, May 10). Gold Nanoparticles May Simplify Cancer Detection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050509171246.htm
Georgia Institute of Technology. "Gold Nanoparticles May Simplify Cancer Detection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050509171246.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins