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 August 20, 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 August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — Nancy Writebol, an American missionary who contracted Ebola, is apparently getting better, according to her husband. The outbreak, however, is not. 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