Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Researchers Combine Nanotubes and Antibodies to Detect Cancer

Abstract:
Work is aimed at developing nanotube-based biosensors that can spot cancer cells circulating in the blood from a treated tumor that has returned or from a new cancer

Jefferson and Delaware Researchers Combine Tiny Nanotubes and Antibodies to Detect Cancer

Posted on November 17, 2005

By coating the surfaces of tiny carbon nanotubes with monoclonal antibodies, biochemists and engineers at Jefferson Medical College and the University of Delaware have teamed up to detect cancer cells in a tiny drop of water. The work is aimed at developing nanotube-based biosensors that can spot cancer cells circulating in the blood from a treated tumor that has returned or from a new cancer.

The researchers, led by Eric Wickstrom, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson, and Balaji Panchapakesan, Ph.D., assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Delaware in Newark, present their findings November 17, 2005 at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Philadelphia.

The group took advantage of a surge in electrical current in nanotube-antibody networks when cancer cells bind to the antibodies. They placed microscopic carbon nanotubes between electrodes, and then covered them with monoclonal antibodies – so-called guided protein missiles that home in on target protein “antigens” on the surface of cancer cells. The antibodies were specific for insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R), which is commonly found at high levels on cancer cells. They then measured the changes in electrical current through the antibody-nanotube combinations when two different types of breast cancer cells were applied to the devices.

The researchers found that the increase in current through the antibody-nanotube devices was proportional to the number of receptors on the cancer cell surfaces. One type, human BT474 breast cancer cells, which do not respond to estrogen, had moderate IGF1R levels, while the other type, MCF7, which needs estrogen to grow, had high IGF1R levels.

The BT474 cancer cells, which had less IGF1R on their surfaces, caused a three-fold jump in current. The MCF7 cells showed an eight-fold increase.

“When cancer cell bind to antibodies, there is a rush of electrons from the nanotube device into the cell,” Dr. Panchapakesan explains.

“The semiconductor nanotubes become more conductive,” says Dr. Wickstrom. “We saw a larger current increase for the MCF7 cells because it correlates with a greater expression of IGF1 receptors.” The cells have a surface protein that is recognized by the antibody on the nanotubes. The current spike occurs only if a target cancer cell with the right antibody target binds to the nanotube array.

“The breast cancer cells don’t give a spike if there is a non-specific antibody on the nanotube,” he says, “and cells without that target don’t cause a current jump whatever antibody is on the nanotubes. “This method could be used for detection and it could be used for recurring circulating tumor cells or micrometastases remaining from the originally treated tumor,” Dr. Wickstrom explains.

“The technique could be cost-effective and could diagnose whether cells are cancerous or not in seconds versus hours or days with histology sectioning,” says Dr. Panchapakesan. “It will allow for large scale production methods to make thousands of sensors and have microarrays of these to detect the fingerprints of specific kinds of cancer cells.”

Drs. Wickstrom and Panchapakesan would like to test the technique on additional breast cancer markers and markers for other kinds of cancers to determine its utility and breadth. In future studies, researchers will add cancer cells to a drop of blood and apply the mixture to the nanotube detector to see how sensitive it is in detecting the cancer cells mixed in with real blood cells and proteins. Another test might involve using the device to try to detect specific types of cancer cells shed in the blood from tumors in animals.

The technique has limitations. “We don’t know if we can detect more than one antigen at a time on a single cell,” Dr. Wickstrom says. Ultimately, the researchers would like to design an assay that can detect cancer cells circulating in the human bloodstream on a hand-held device no bigger than a cell phone.

####
Media Contact:
Steven Benowitz
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
215-955-6300

Copyright © Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Easier, faster, cheaper: A full-filling approach to making nanotubes of consistent quality: Approach opens a straightforward route for engineering the properties of single-wall carbon nanotubes July 19th, 2016

Sensing trouble: A new way to detect hidden damage in bridges, roads: University of Delaware engineers devise new method for monitoring structural health July 8th, 2016

Wireless, wearable toxic-gas detector: Inexpensive sensors could be worn by soldiers to detect hazardous chemical agents July 4th, 2016

Nanotubes' 'stuffing' as is: A scientist from the Lomonosov Moscow State University studied the types of carbon nanotubes' 'stuffing' June 2nd, 2016

Nanomedicine

Starpharma initiates new DEP™ drug delivery program with AstraZeneca July 27th, 2016

Scientists test nanoparticle drug delivery in dogs with osteosarcoma July 26th, 2016

The NanoWizard® AFM from JPK is applied for interdisciplinary research at the University of South Australia for applications including smart wound healing and how plants can protect themselves from toxins July 26th, 2016

Accurate design of large icosahedral protein nanocages pushes bioengineering boundaries: Scientists used computational methods to build ten large, two-component, co-assembling icosahedral protein complexes the size of small virus coats July 25th, 2016

Sensors

Ultrasensitive sensor using N-doped graphene July 26th, 2016

Integration of novel materials with silicon chips makes new 'smart' devices possible July 25th, 2016

Electron 'spin control' of levitated nanodiamonds could bring advances in sensors, quantum information processing July 20th, 2016

Easier, faster, cheaper: A full-filling approach to making nanotubes of consistent quality: Approach opens a straightforward route for engineering the properties of single-wall carbon nanotubes July 19th, 2016

Announcements

Starpharma initiates new DEP™ drug delivery program with AstraZeneca July 27th, 2016

Ageing can drive progress: Population ageing is likely to boost medicine, nanotechnology and robotics, but increase political risks July 27th, 2016

WSU researchers 'watch' crystal structure change in real time: Breakthrough made possible by new Argonne facility July 27th, 2016

Enhancing molecular imaging with light: New technology platform increases spectroscopic resolution by 4 fold July 27th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic