Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Engineers develop cancer-targeting nanoprobe sensors

UC Berkeley scientists are designing smart nanoprobes, called nanocorals, to selectively attach to cancer cells, deliver therapeutic drugs and report on the local molecular environment. One side of the nanocorals is designed to selectively target the cell, while the other has a roughened surface to sense tell-tale chemical particles in the environment. (Benjamin Ross and Liz Wu, UC Berkeley)
UC Berkeley scientists are designing smart nanoprobes, called nanocorals, to selectively attach to cancer cells, deliver therapeutic drugs and report on the local molecular environment. One side of the nanocorals is designed to selectively target the cell, while the other has a roughened surface to sense tell-tale chemical particles in the environment. (Benjamin Ross and Liz Wu, UC Berkeley)

Abstract:
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have created smart nanoprobes that may one day be used in the battle against cancer to selectively seek out and destroy tumor cells, as well as report back on the mission's status.

Engineers develop cancer-targeting nanoprobe sensors

Berkeley, CA | Posted on January 30th, 2010

A small number of research teams around the world have been developing target-specific nanoprobes for the past 10 years in an effort to reduce — and perhaps eliminate — the toxic toll chemotherapy takes on the healthy cells that reside near their diseased counterparts.

What had been missing, however, is a mechanism by which the nanoprobes could not only find the cancer cell, but also relay information once they latched onto the target. The UC Berkeley team created such multi-functioning probes, which they have dubbed nanocorals.

The development of the new nanocorals is the cover story for the Feb. 22 print issue of the peer-reviewed journal Small.

"If you're sending a satellite into space, you need it to do more than one thing. It must reach its target, detect its surroundings, and communicate back to ground control," said Luke Lee, Lloyd Distinguished Professor of Bioengineering at UC Berkeley and head of the UC Berkeley team that developed the nanocoral. "The same is true in the molecular galaxy. We need probes that can find a diseased cell, treat it, and tell us about the local environment so we can determine whether the treatment is working. The nanocoral probes we invented are an important step in this direction."

The tiny probes measure a few hundred nanometers in diameter — one-thousandth the width of a human hair, and one-hundredth the size of most cancer cells. The team's insight was to combine different materials — roughened gold on one side, and smooth polystyrene on the other — onto a single probe.

The name of the new probe is inspired by natural sea corals, which use rough surfaces to enhance the capture of light and food particles.

"Like natural corals, the highly roughened nanocoral surface is designed to capture molecules near the probes, and report their presence back to researchers," said Benjamin Ross, a Ph.D. student in UC Berkeley's Applied Science and Technology Program, and one of two co-lead authors of the study. "The type of molecules present — or absent — at the cell's surface can provide telltale signs of how a cell is reacting to the new drug being delivered."

The sensing side of the nanocoral relies upon a technique called surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), which takes advantage of the electromagnetic excitations that occur as molecules make contact with the roughened surface of a metal, such as gold. Molecules produce oscillations that resonate at signature frequencies when exposed to laser light, revealing their presence to the scientists.

The researchers verified the sensitivity of the nanocoral by measuring its ability to detect a standard chemical compound for Raman spectroscopy.

To get the nanocoral to target specific cells, the researchers took advantage of the capability to attach antibodies to polymer surfaces.

"We can tailor the nanocoral to cancer cells of interest by attaching the appropriate antibodies," said the study's other co-lead author, Liz Wu, who conducted this research as a Ph.D. student in the Applied Science and Technology program.

The researchers demonstrated this concept by coating the polystyrene surface with antibodies that attack human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2), a well-known target for cancer treatment since it is often over-expressed in aggressive forms of breast cancer. They confirmed with both bright field and fluorescent images that the nanocoral attached to breast cancer cells with HER-2 receptors, while control experiments showed that no binding occurred when different antibodies or when cells lacking HER-2 were used.

"We are still in the early stages of development, but we are optimistic that the nanocorals will eventually become useful diagnostic and treatment tools for a wide range of cancers," said Lee. "This will potentially allow us not only to deliver a drug, but also to see the response in real time at a sub-cellular level."

Another co-author of the study is SoonGweon Hong, UC Berkeley graduate student in bioengineering.

The National Institutes of Health Nanomedicine Development Center for the Optical Control of Biological Function and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency helped support this research.

####

About University of California, Berkeley
The University of California was chartered in 1868 and its flagship campus — envisioned as a "City of Learning" — was established at Berkeley, on San Francisco Bay. Today the world's premier public university and a wellspring of innovation, UC Berkeley occupies a 1,232 acre campus with a sylvan 178-acre central core. From this home its academic community makes key contributions to the economic and social well-being of the Bay Area, California, and the nation.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:

Copyright © University of California, Berkeley

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

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

NUS scientists use low cost technique to improve properties and functions of nanomaterials: By 'drawing' micropatterns on nanomaterials using a focused laser beam, scientists could modify properties of nanomaterials for effective applications in photonic and optoelectric applicat July 22nd, 2014

Haydale and Goodfellow Announce Major Distribution Agreement for Functionalised Graphene Materials July 21st, 2014

Relaunch of the Nanoscribe Website New design, optimized research, and impressive gallery of applications July 21st, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

Oregon chemists eye improved thin films with metal substitution: Solution-based inorganic process could drive more efficient electronics and solar devices July 21st, 2014

More than glitter: Scientists explain how gold nanoparticles easily penetrate cells, making them useful for delivering drugs July 21st, 2014

Carbyne morphs when stretched: Rice University calculations show carbon-atom chain would go metal to semiconductor July 21st, 2014

Possible Futures

IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014

Surface Characteristics Influence Cellular Growth on Semiconductor Material March 12th, 2014

Nanomedicine

SentiMag® Now Available in Australia and New Zealand July 21st, 2014

More than glitter: Scientists explain how gold nanoparticles easily penetrate cells, making them useful for delivering drugs July 21st, 2014

Iranian Scientists Use Nanosensors to Achieve Best Limit for Early Cancer Diagnosis July 19th, 2014

Production of Non-Virus Nanocarriers with Highest Amount of Gene Delivery July 17th, 2014

Sensors

Tiny laser sensor heightens bomb detection sensitivity July 19th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Use Nanosensors to Achieve Best Limit for Early Cancer Diagnosis July 19th, 2014

Rice nanophotonics experts create powerful molecular sensor: Sensor amplifies optical signature of single molecules about 100 billion times July 15th, 2014

University of Illinois researchers demonstrate novel, tunable nanoantennas July 14th, 2014

Announcements

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

NUS scientists use low cost technique to improve properties and functions of nanomaterials: By 'drawing' micropatterns on nanomaterials using a focused laser beam, scientists could modify properties of nanomaterials for effective applications in photonic and optoelectric applicat July 22nd, 2014

More than glitter: Scientists explain how gold nanoparticles easily penetrate cells, making them useful for delivering drugs July 21st, 2014

Iran to Host 1st Asian Congress on Nanostructures on Kish Island July 21st, 2014

Nanobiotechnology

Production of Non-Virus Nanocarriers with Highest Amount of Gene Delivery July 17th, 2014

Physicists Use Computer Models to Reveal Quantum Effects in Biological Oxygen Transport: The team solved a long-standing question by explaining why oxygen – and not deadly carbon monoxide – preferably binds to the proteins that transport it around the body. July 17th, 2014

Tiny DNA pyramids enter bacteria easily -- and deliver a deadly payload July 9th, 2014

Artificial cilia: Scientists from Kiel University develop nano-structured transportation system July 4th, 2014

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







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE