Gold nanoparticles may be used to detect cancer, says a new study that is published in the journal Nano Letters.
The father and son research team had been able to bind the gold nanoparticles to the antibodies for cancer cells, a process that will make the tracing of cancer cells much easier.
Often cancer cells have a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (EFGR) over their surface. This protein is not present in good concentration on the healthy cells. By binding the gold nanoparticles to the antibody of epidermal growth factor receptor, it is possible to make the gold nanoparticles attach themselves with the cancer cells. The gold nanopartcles are very good in scattering and absorbing light. Once the particles are attached to the cancer cells, then the researchers had used a technique called darkfield microscopy to see the cancer cells under the microscope.
The researchers hope that this technology may be used to perform low cost automatic detection of cancer cells in the biopsies. The researchers also feel that their technology for scattering and absorption may be used with some modifications to test for cancer in human bodies without biopsies.