Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > ‘Chemical Nose’ May Sniff Out Cancer Earlier

 University of Massachusetts Amherst
Nanoparticles and polymers were used to create a sensor that can %0Adistinguish between healthy, cancerous and metastatic cells.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Nanoparticles and polymers were used to create a sensor that can %0Adistinguish between healthy, cancerous and metastatic cells.

Abstract:
Using a "chemical nose" array of nanoparticles and polymers, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have developed a fundamentally new, more effective way to differentiate not only between healthy and cancerous cells but also between metastatic and non-metastatic cancer cells. It's a tool that could revolutionize cancer detection and treatment, according to chemist Vincent Rotello and cancer specialist Joseph Jerry.

‘Chemical Nose’ May Sniff Out Cancer Earlier

Amherst, MA | Posted on June 22nd, 2009

An article describing Rotello and colleagues' new chemical nose method of cancer detection appears in the June 23 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences online.

Currently, detecting cancer via cell surface biomarkers has taken what's known as the "lock and key" approach. Drawbacks of this method include that foreknowledge of the biomarker is required. Also, as Rotello explains, a cancer cell has the same biomarkers on its surface as a healthy cell, but in different concentrations, a maddeningly small difference that can be very difficult to detect. "You often don't get a big signal for the presence of cancer," he notes. "It's a subtle thing."

He adds, "Our new method uses an array of sensors to recognize not only known cancer types, but it signals that abnormal cells are present. That is, the chemical nose can simply tell us something isn't right, like a ‘check engine light,' though it may never have encountered that type before." Further, the chemical nose can be designed to alert doctors of the most invasive cancer types, those for which early treatment is crucial.

In blinded experiments in four human cancer cell lines (cervical, liver, testis and breast), as well as in three metastatic breast cell lines, and in normal cells, the new detection technique correctly indicated not only the presence of cancer cells in a sample but also identified primary cancer vs. metastatic disease.

In further experiments to rule out the possibility that the chemical nose had simply detected individual differences in cells from different donors, the researchers repeated the experiments in skin cells from three groups of cloned BALB /c mice: healthy animals, those with primary cancer and those with metastatic disease. Once again, it worked. "This result is key," says Rotello. "It shows that we can differentiate between the the three cell types in a single individual using the chemical nose approach."

Rotello's research team, with colleagues at the Georgia Institute of Technology, designed the new detection system by combining three gold nanoparticles that have special affinity for the surface of chemically abnormal cells, plus a polymer known as PPE, or para-phenyleneethynylene. As the ‘check engine light,' PPE fluoresces or glows when displaced from the nanoparticle surface.

By adding PPE bound with gold nanoparticles to human cells incubating in wells on a culture plate, the researchers induce a response called "competitive binding." Cell surfaces bind the nanoparticles, displacing the PPE from the surface. This turns on PPE's fluorescent switch. Cells are then identified from the patterns generated by different particle-PPE systems.

Rotello says the chemical nose approach is so named because it works like a human nose, which is arrayed with hundreds of very selective chemical receptors. These bind with thousands of different chemicals in the air, some more strongly than others, in the endless combination we encounter. The receptors report instantly to the brain, which recognizes patterns such as, for example, "French fries," or it creates a new smell pattern.

Chemical receptors in the nose plus the brain's pattern recognition skills together are incredibly sensitive at detecting subtly different combinations, Rotello notes. We routinely detect the presence of tiny numbers of bacteria in meat that's going bad, for instance. Like a human nose, the chemical version being developed for use in cancer also remembers patterns experienced, even if only once, and creates a new one when needed.

For the future, Rotello says further studies will be undertaken in an animal model to see if the chemical nose approach can identify cell status in real tissue. Also, more work is required to learn how to train the chemical nose's sensors to give more precise information to physicians who will be making judgment calls about patients' cancer treatment. But the future is promising, he adds. "We're getting complete identification now, and this can be improved by adding more and different nanoparticles. So far we've experimented with only three, and there are hundreds more we can make."

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
200 Munson Hall
Amherst, MA 01003
United States
Phone 413-545-0444
Fax 413-545-3082

Janet Lathrop
413/545-0444


Vincent Rotello
413/545-2058

Copyright © Newswise

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

News and information

'Hot spots' increase efficiency of solar desalination: Rice University engineers boost output of solar desalination system by 50% June 19th, 2019

New record: 3D-printed optical-electronic integration June 18th, 2019

Can break junction techniques still offer quantitative information at single-molecule level June 18th, 2019

Small currents for big gains in spintronics: A new low-power magnetic switching component could aid spintronic devices June 14th, 2019

Nanomedicine

A molecular glue to overcome cancer drug resistance? Small molecule drug may prevent chemotherapy resistance June 7th, 2019

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Present at Upcoming June 2019 Conferences June 2nd, 2019

Chemists build a better cancer-killing drill: Rice U.-designed molecular motors get an upgrade for activation with near-infrared light May 29th, 2019

Light and nanotechnology combined to prevent biofilms on medical implants May 24th, 2019

Sensors

New Video Highlights Specific Topics Sought in Call for Papers for the 2019 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) June 13th, 2019

Kanazawa University research: Opposite piezoresistant effects of rhenium disulfide in two principle directions June 13th, 2019

Shaking hands with human or robot? Nanotubes make them alike as never before June 6th, 2019

Good vibrations: Using piezoelectricity to ensure hydrogen sensor sensitivity May 24th, 2019

Discoveries

'Hot spots' increase efficiency of solar desalination: Rice University engineers boost output of solar desalination system by 50% June 19th, 2019

New record: 3D-printed optical-electronic integration June 18th, 2019

Can break junction techniques still offer quantitative information at single-molecule level June 18th, 2019

University of Konstanz researchers create uniform-shape polymer nanocrystals: Researchers from the University of Konstanz's CRC 1214 'Anisotropic Particles as Building Blocks: Tailoring Shape, Interactions and Structures' generate uniform-shape nanocrystals using direct polymeriz June 14th, 2019

Announcements

'Hot spots' increase efficiency of solar desalination: Rice University engineers boost output of solar desalination system by 50% June 19th, 2019

New record: 3D-printed optical-electronic integration June 18th, 2019

Can break junction techniques still offer quantitative information at single-molecule level June 18th, 2019

Small currents for big gains in spintronics: A new low-power magnetic switching component could aid spintronic devices June 14th, 2019

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project