Test strips for cancer detection get upgraded with nanoparticle blingSeptember 13, 2017
The most common test strip people might think of for diagnosis is a home pregnancy test. Pregnant women have steadily increasing levels of the biomarker human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is easily detectable in urine and a thin, colorful strip of antibodies will appear when hCG is present.
However, there's a lot more hCG in pee than there is of cancer biomarkers in blood. Identifying minute concentrations is the greatest challenge of test strips that have been developed to detect everything from cancer to infectious diseases to heart problems. The actual stripe on the paper simply isn't sensitive enough to change color for a human eye to easily see it at concentrations that make a life-changing difference.
Some nanoparticle bling could change that. And it would not greatly impact the cost of current test strips according to new research led by Xiaohu Xia, an assistant professor of chemistry at Michigan Technological University. The research was published recently in Nano Letters.
Gold nanoparticles have been used widely for decades for in vitro diagnostics to make medical care and treatment decisions quicker and easier for physicians and patients. What is new with Xia's research is adding a dual function to the nanoparticle by decorating each tiny sphere in a thin skin of platinum.
Doing so makes it easier for the naked eye to observe changes on the test strip. It also increases the accuracy and provides quantifiable results for extremely low concentrations of key biomarkers, which are measured in picograms per milliliter. In Xia's study, they focused on prostate-specific antigen (PSA), looking for signals of mere trillionths of a gram in a single drop of blood.
"We require the detection to be very sensitive," Xia says, explaining that platinum is a great catalyst and a little goes a long way to boost the chemical reaction that causes a test strip stripe to show up. "Gold nanoparticles are a distinct red color and as long as the platinum is ultrathin, the red of the gold nanoparticles will show through."
Xia's team took that improvement a step further: they created a low-sensitivity mode (color from gold nanoparticle cores) and a high-sensitivity mode (color produced by platinum skins through catalysis) to detect PSA. As the photo below shows, the high-sensitivity mode greatly improves test strip visibility; the low-sensitivity mode is on par with commercially available test strips.
What's more is that Xia estimates the thin platinum skin will not significantly increase the cost of current gold nanoparticle test strips on the market and the design is compatible with detecting other kinds of cancer biomarkers.
"A key component in the test strip is the antibodies, which are unique to each cancer biomarker, and are commercially available," he says. "We can easily replace the antibody, so this is a general detection platform."
The next step Xia says is verifying the application for other cancer biomarkers and even experimenting with applications for infectious diseases.
"The advantage of this technology is simple," he says. "Point-of-care devices mean people can buy them and do diagnosis on their own; in a clinic, this is a cheap and quick technique that also improves diagnosis and therefore treatment."
All it took was a bit of decorating. Adding some new platinum bling to old-school gold nanoparticles will help push improved test strip technology out of labs into clinics and homes.
Michigan Technological University
Related Cancer Articles:
East Asian female breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy have a higher risk of developing second primary lung cancer.
Continuing PLOS Medicine's special issue on cancer genomics, Christos Hatzis of Yale University, New Haven, Conn., USA and colleagues describe a new subtype of triple negative breast cancer that may be more amenable to treatment than other cases of this difficult-to-treat disease.
Osaka University researchers revealed that the metabolite D-2-hydroxyglurate (D-2HG) promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition of colorectal cancer cells, leading them to develop features of lower adherence to neighboring cells, increased invasiveness, and greater likelihood of metastatic spread.
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers have identified an essential driver of tumor cell invasion in glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer that can occur at any age.
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers developed a computational algorithm to analyze 'Big Data' obtained from tumor samples to better understand and treat cancer.
University of Oklahoma researchers will apply a new analytical technology that could ultimately provide a powerful tool for improved treatment of cancer patients in Oklahoma and beyond.
Researchers have found that treating patients who have early stage non-small cell lung cancer with a type of radiotherapy called stereotactic body radiation therapy is associated with a small but increased risk of death from causes other than cancer.
Is investment in research to develop new treatments the best approach to controlling cancer?
The University of Illinois Cancer Center and Governors State University have received a joint four-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to help both institutions conduct community-based research to reduce cancer-related health disparities in Chicago's south suburbs.
The Cancer Research Institute, the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy, the European Academy of Tumor Immunology, and the American Association for Cancer Research will join forces to sponsor the first International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York, Sept.
Related Cancer Reading:
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
by Siddhartha Mukherjee (Author)
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and now a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS, The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.
Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly... View Details
F*ck Cancer: A totally inappropriate self-affirming adult coloring book (Totally Inappropriate Series) (Volume 4)
by Jen Meyers (Author)
*A portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to support research dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. Because fuck cancer.
This book is for you.
If you are fighting cancer, this is for you. If your brother, sister, mom, dad, son, daughter, relative, or friend is fighting cancer, this is for you. If you've lost someone to cancer like I have, this is for you. If cancer affects your life in any way, this is for you.
The stress of cancer can feel crushing. But perhaps this book can help you get away from it all, if only for a little... View Details
The Metabolic Approach to Cancer: Integrating Deep Nutrition, the Ketogenic Diet, and Nontoxic Bio-Individualized Therapies
by Dr. Nasha Winters ND FABNO L.Ac Dipl.OM (Author), Jess Higgins Kelley MNT (Author), Kelly Turner (Foreword)
The Optimal Terrain Ten Protocol to Reboot Cellular Health
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, cancer rates have increased exponentially―now affecting almost 50 percent of the American population. Conventional treatment continues to rely on chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation to attack cancer cells. Yet research has repeatedly shown that 95 percent of cancer cases are directly linked to diet and lifestyle. The Metabolic Approach to Cancer is the book we have been waiting for―it offers an innovative, metabolic-focused nutrition protocol that... View Details
The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, Second Edition: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery
by Rebecca Katz (Author), Mat Edelson (Author)
This new and revised edition of the IACP award-winning cookbook brings the healing power of delicious, nutritious foods to those whose hearts and bodies crave a revitalizing meal, through 150 new and updated recipes.
Featuring science-based, nutrient-rich recipes that are easy to prepare and designed to give patients a much-needed boost by stimulating appetite and addressing treatment side effects including fatigue, nausea, dehydration, mouth and throat soreness, tastebud changes, and weight loss. A step-by-step guide helps patients nutritionally prepare for all phases of... View Details
Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do: 2013 Edition
by Greg Anderson (Author)
The ground-breaking classic guide to surviving cancer?now completely updated!
Revised and updated for the first time since 1999, this invaluable guide to cancer recovery offers an easily accessible plan for patients and family members. Written by a cancer survivor, the book is an inspiring, action-oriented roadmap for those who choose to adopt a stance of hope and take charge of their diagnosis.
With penetrating insights that bring together more than two decades of scientifically supported research and experience, Anderson reveals a step-by-step holistic action plan... View Details
Tripping over the Truth: How the Metabolic Theory of Cancer Is Overturning One of Medicine's Most Entrenched Paradigms
by Travis Christofferson (Author), Dominic D'Agostino (Foreword)
With a new foreword by Dr. Dominic D'Agostino, PhD and epilogue by the author
A masterful synchronization of history and cutting-edge science shines new light on humanity's darkest diagnosis.
In the wake of the Cancer Genome Atlas project's failure to provide a legible roadmap to a cure for cancer, science writer Travis Christofferson illuminates a promising blend of old and new perspectives on the disease. Tripping over the Truth follows the story of cancer’s proposed metabolic origin from the vaunted halls of the German scientific golden age to... View Details
The Truth about Cancer: What You Need to Know about Cancer's History, Treatment, and Prevention
by Ty M Bollinger (Author)
Cancer touches more lives than you may think. According to the World Health Organization, one out of three women alive today, and one out of two men, will face a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime.
To Ty Bollinger, this isn’t just a statistic. It’s personal. After losing seven members of his family to cancer over the course of a decade, Ty set out on a global quest to learn as much as he possibly could about cancer treatments and the medical industry that surrounds the disease. He has written this book to share what he’s uncovered—some of which may shock you—and to give you... View Details
50 Days of Hope: Daily Inspiration for Your Journey through Cancer
by Lynn Eib (Author)
You’ve just heard a diagnosis that shakes your world: It's cancer. And what you long for most is the hope that everything will be okay. You are not alone. As a longtime cancer survivor, Lynn Eib knows firsthand how that feels. And as a patient advocate helping thousands facing cancer, she also knows what gives people hope. In 50 Days of Hope, Lynn shares amazing, true stories of those who have been in your shoes and discovered that when God and cancer meet, hope is never far away. Whether you’re a cancer patient or walking with a loved one on a cancer journey, you’ll find 50... View Details
Anticancer: A New Way of Life
by David Servan-Schreiber MD PhD (Author)
The revolutionary, New York Times bestselling guide to the powerful lifestyle changes that fight and prevent cancer—an integrative approach based on the latest scientific research
“A common-sense blueprint for healthy living.” —Chicago Tribune
“Resonating with cancer support communities and recommended nationwide.” —Los Angeles Times
“Life affirming . . . filled with practical advice.” —The Seattle Times
David Servan-Schreiber was a rising... View Details
Mom Has Cancer! (Let's Talk About It Series)
by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos (Author), Marta Fabrega (Illustrator)
The sensitively written Let's Talk About It Books encourage preschool-age and early-grades children to explore their feelings, deal with problems that trouble them, and understand others who have problems of their own. Each title speaks to a particular concern that children might encounter in the course of growing up. All books in this series have appealing color illustrations on every page, and are available in both English and Spanish language editions. A short section at the back of each book offers related advice to parents. This book points out that a diagnosis that Mom has... View Details