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Home > News > Nanoscience discovers new method for disease testing

September 9th, 2009

Nanoscience discovers new method for disease testing

Abstract:
In the William L. Clay building, home of the the Center of Nanoscience, Keith Stine, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, sits surrounded by books and papers that have served him well. Stine, along with Olga V. Shulga, a postdoctoral associate, Kenis Jefferson, graduate student and Alexei V. Demchenko, UM-St. Louis professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has discovered a "faster and less expensive way to identify diseases," which they have been working on since the spring of 2007. Their findings were released in a study named "Simplified Immunoassay on a Porous Support."

In this study they explain that they have developed an alternative to the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test, the basic detection process for prostate cancer. In the original test, a plastic plate was used to hold two antibodies. Bound together, the first antibody would collect a sample of blood while the second antibody, with an attached enzyme, would detect traces of abnormalities.

To explain how they improved this process, Stine said, "What we have done is replaced the plastic plate with a nanomaterial, which is a sponge like form of gold … Gold has the advantage of being inert, so you can attach molecules to the surface in a very controlled way." Molecules that serve as indicators for certain health problems could be placed into these structures. A second improvement allows them to avoid the use of two antibodies; with their method only one is needed. Stine said, "That also reduces the number of steps required to carry out a determination, so it should save time."

Source:
thecurrentonline.com

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