Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Plan for cancer detector wins prize for Vanderbilt researchers

Prof. Todd Giorgio is flanked by graduate students Chinmay Soman (left) and
Ashwath Jayagopal, who recently placed third in the NanoNexus Idea to Product competition.
Prof. Todd Giorgio is flanked by graduate students Chinmay Soman (left) and Ashwath Jayagopal, who recently placed third in the NanoNexus Idea to Product competition.

Abstract:
A plan to use nanotechnology to produce a new type of cancer detector won the third-place award at the NanoNexus2007 conference held last month at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Plan for cancer detector wins prize for Vanderbilt researchers

Nashville, TN | Posted on May 9th, 2007

The detector has been under development for two years by Vanderbilt graduate student Chinmay Soman working under the supervision of Todd Giorgio, professor of biomedical engineering. They have demonstrated that the simple and inexpensive system, which can be built from off-the-shelf components, can rapidly detect the presence of cancer biomarkers - telltale proteins in body fluids that can signal the presence of malignant tumors - at very low levels.

The NanoNexus Idea to Product competition, which took place on April 3-4, was based not only on the technical merit of the proposed device but also on the plan that the researchers advanced for turning it into a commercial product. The judges were drawn from nanotechnology companies, venture capital firms and government research laboratories. Soman and fellow biomedical engineering graduate student Ashwath Jayagopal presented the cancer-detection technology and an associated business plan that won the third-place award of $2,500.

The Quantum Dot Enabled Multiplexed Antigen Profiling (QuaD-MAP) system is based on the ability of nanoparticles to self-assemble - form structures without external prodding. The system starts with nanoscale fluorescent beads called quantum dots. These come in a range of different colors and are used to tag specific biological structures.

Another key component is antibodies, proteins produced by the body's immune system that recognize and bind to foreign substances. The researchers chemically attach antibodies onto the surface of the quantum dots that bind to a particular biomarker. When they mix them in liquid containing the biomarkers, the proteins act as bridges between the quantum dots, forming microscale ‘snowballs' from the nanoscale ‘snowflakes.' Within a matter of minutes, the fluorescent snowballs grow large enough that they can be easily detected by a flow cytometer, a standard hospital instrument used for counting and measuring blood cells. If the targeted biomarkers are not present, the quantum dots do not agglomerate and remain undetectable by the cytometer.

Vanderbilt has applied for a patent on the use of controlled nanoparticle agglomeration combined with characterization by flow cytometry as a novel method of protein detection.

"Biomarker research has been going on for some time and is just reaching the point where we are reasonably confident that biomarkers can be used for cancer detection," Giorgio said. "However, current methods for detecting biomarkers are complicated and expensive, particularly since it appears that it will take the simultaneous identification of several biomarkers to determine the presence of many cancers unambiguously."

That is one of the strengths of the QuaD-MAP approach: It can detect the presence of a number of different biomarkers simultaneously by attaching the antibodies to each biomarker to different-colored quantum dots.

"With this technology, a future scenario might be that you go to the doctor every year for an annual checkup; he draws about 10 cc's of your blood and runs it through our machine," said Soman. "The machine is equipped to detect the biomarkers for all the common types of cancer. Half an hour later it produces a list of the biomarkers that it has found. And then either a software program or the physician examines this list to determine whether you have any cancers that need treating."

Although they don't have any hard-and-fast figures, the researchers say that such a test could be very inexpensive. Quantum dots are expensive on a per gram basis, but only a minute quantity is used in each test.

"For our commercial plan, we proposed a variation on the Gillette razor model: Selling razors cheaply and profiting on the sale of the blades," Soman said. "There was a lot of interest in our approach because it gets around one of the major problems in the biomarker field - the need to license biomarkers that have been patented by hundreds of different people."

The researchers are focusing on lung cancer as an initial application because there is currently no adequate way to detect it at an early stage. According to the American Cancer Society's Cancer Facts and Figures 2007, only 16 percent of lung cancers are detected early, when they can be treated with a 50 percent survival rate. For the other 84 percent, the survival rate drops to 2 percent.

Currently, the researchers are looking for a small business that is interested in partnering with them to apply for a federal small business innovative research grant. "Since the technology is beyond the exploratory stage now, we think the SBIR is the way to go," Giorgio said.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
David F. Salisbury, (615) 343-6803

Copyright © Vanderbilt University

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

Nanomedicine

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

JPK reports on how the University of Glasgow is using their NanoWizard® AFM and CellHesion module to study how cells interact with their surroundings August 2nd, 2017

Discoveries

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Fewer defects from a 2-D approach August 15th, 2017

Scientists from the University of Manchester and Diamond Light Source work with Deben to develop and test a new compression stage to study irradiated graphite at elevated temperatures August 15th, 2017

Announcements

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

Scientists from the University of Manchester and Diamond Light Source work with Deben to develop and test a new compression stage to study irradiated graphite at elevated temperatures August 15th, 2017

Human Interest/Art

Weizmann Institute of Science Presents: Weizmann Wonder Wander - 4G - is Online June 21st, 2016

Call for NanoArt and Art-Science-Technology Papers June 9th, 2016

Scientists propose non-animal tools for assessing the toxicity of nanomaterials: Particle and Fibre Toxicology publishes recommendations from expert group meeting April 26th, 2016

Are humans the new supercomputer?Today, people of all backgrounds can contribute to solving serious scientific problems by playing computer games. A Danish research group has extended the limits of quantum physics calculations and simultaneously blurred the boundaries between mac April 14th, 2016

Quantum Dots/Rods

New approach on research and design for CQD catalysts in World Scientific NANO August 2nd, 2017

Coupling a nano-trumpet with a quantum dot enables precise position determination July 14th, 2017

Graphene and quantum dots put in motion a CMOS-integrated camera that can see the invisible May 29th, 2017

The brighter side of twisted polymers: Conjugated polymers designed with a twist produce tiny, brightly fluorescent particles with broad applications May 16th, 2017

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