Gold-plated Nanoparticles May Help Detect Cancer Early

by Adeline Dorcas on  August 31, 2018 at 10:59 AM Research News
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New low-cost finger prick blood test which utilizes gold-plated nanoparticles can help in early cancer detection. The findings of the study are published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
Gold-plated Nanoparticles May Help Detect Cancer Early
Gold-plated Nanoparticles May Help Detect Cancer Early

The research team from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney used nanoparticles to latch on to the targeted microRNAs (miRNAs), even in ultralow levels, which enabled them to be easily extracted.

"We are detecting small molecules found in the blood which could also identify the type of cancer, while they are looking for rare cells that are responsible for the spread of cancer," said Justin Gooding, Professor from the varsity.

In the study, the team reported modifying gold-coated magnetic nanoparticles (Au@MNPs) with DNA to match the miRNA they wanted to detect.

Gooding said the nanoparticles are, in effect, dispersible electrodes. When circulated through the blood they capture the miRNA before a magnet is used to recapture the nanoparticles with the newly attached microRNA.

"Now we get more of the microRNA because the dispersible electrodes capture nearly everything in the sample," Professor Gooding said.

"Because the capture is so effective, we get higher sensitivities and can detect much lower limits.

"And since we bring them back to the electrode under a magnet, our response time is much faster," he noted.

Moreover, the new diagnostic technique costs less and is faster than traditional methods.

"Our method takes 30 minutes compared with almost 12 hours for quantitative polymerase chain reaction," Gooding said.

Gooding said he expects the technology to be available within three years, pending regulatory approvals.

Source: IANS

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