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April 12th, 2010

Gold Nanosensors to Track Disease

Abstract:
Gold nanoparticles designed to detect proteins within cells, using just laser light, could enable simple and highly sensitive monitoring tools for blood clots and other disorders. Researchers in Scotland have shown that the novel particles can accurately detect thrombin, a biomarker for blood clots, in blood samples. They ultimately envision tests in which the gold nanosensors are injected directly into the patient, enabling measurement of protein concentrations by shining laser light through the skin. In the nearer term, the technology will allow scientists to directly examine how proteins, such as those involved in viral infections, interact within a cell.

"The gold particle works likes a kind of transducer for the laser," says Colin Campbell, a chemist at the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland, who led the research.

Source:
technologyreview.com

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