Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Detecting cancer early

Date:
February 9, 2010
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
A new testing method is being developed to detect cancer soon after the tumor has formed. It will identify characteristic substances in the blood which accompany a certain type of tumor. The first steps in the development have already been completed.

Nanoparticles connected to antibodies are luminescent in two spectral ranges. This makes it possible to check the homogeneous occupation of the sensor electrode.
Credit: Fraunhofer ISC/Ingo Peters

The earlier the doctor finds the tumor, the better the patient's chances of recovery. A new testing method aims to detect the disease in its initial stages. The technology is based on a microfluidic chip with tiny channels in which a blood sample from the patient circulates. The chip traces marker proteins which are indicative of cancer. The measured concentration of the tumor marker in the blood will help doctors to diagnose the disease at an early stage.

Similar testing systems already exist but their measurements are not very precise and they can only detect molecules that are present in the blood in large quantities. What's more, the tests have to be carried out in a laboratory, which is time-consuming and costly.

A project funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research and coordinated by the Fraunhofer FIT aims to improve matters. Biofunctionalized nanoparticles developed by research scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC in Würzburg are the key element in the new sensor. "We have improved the detection limit compared with the present state of the art by a factor of one hundred," explains Dr. Jörn Probst, Head of the Business Unit Life Science at the ISC. "Whereas previously a hundred molecules were needed in a certain quantity of blood to detect tumor markers, we now need only one. This means that diseases can be diagnosed much earlier than with present methods."

But how does the biosensor integrated in the chip register the few biomolecules swimming around in the blood that are indicative of a certain disease? "We have placed antibody-occupied nanoparticles on the sensor electrode which fish out the relevant proteins. For this purpose, we repeatedly pump the blood across the electrode surface. As with a river, the flow is fastest in mid-channel and the water runs more slowly near the bank. We have therefore made a sort of fishing rod using nanoparticles which registers the antibodies in the middle of the blood flow where most proteins swim by per unit of time.« If an antibody catches the matching protein, a tumor marker, the electrical charge distribution shifts and this is picked up by the electrode."

The researcher groups are now developing a first demonstrator combining four independent single-molecule-sensitive biosensors. The experts are also working on the simultaneous detection of several tumor markers, which will increase the clarity of tests. The system will be ready to enter the market in a few years' time.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Detecting cancer early." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201101907.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2010, February 9). Detecting cancer early. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201101907.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Detecting cancer early." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201101907.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. 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