Navigation Links
UMass Amherst chemists develop nose-like sensor array to 'smell' cancer diagnoses

AMHERST, Mass. In the fight against cancer, knowing the enemy's exact identity is crucial for diagnosis and treatment, especially in metastatic cancers, those that spread between organs and tissues. Now chemists led by Vincent Rotello at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have developed a rapid, sensitive way to detect microscopic levels of many different metastatic cell types in living tissue. Findings appear in the current issue of the journal ACS Nano.

In a pre-clinical non-small-cell lung cancer metastasis model in mice developed by Frank Jirik and colleagues at the University of Calgary, Rotello's team at UMass Amherst use a sensor array system of gold nanoparticles and proteins to "smell" different cancer types in much the same way our noses identify and remember different odors. The new work builds on Rotello and colleagues' earlier development of a "chemical nose" array of nanoparticles and polymers able to differentiate between normal cells and cancerous ones.

Rotello explains, "With this tool, we can now actually detect and identify metastasized tumor cells in living animal tissue rapidly and effectively using the 'nose' strategy. We were the first group to use this approach in cells, which is relatively straightforward. Now we've done it in tissues and organs, which are very much more complex. With this advance, we're much closer to the promise of a general diagnostic test."

Until now the standard method for precisely identifying cancer cells used a biological receptor approach, a protein binding to a cancer cell wall. Its major drawback is that one must know the appropriate receptor beforehand. Rotello and colleagues' breakthrough is to use an array of gold nanoparticle sensors plus green fluorescent protein (GFP) that activates in response to patterns in the proteins found in cancer cells within minutes, assigning a unique signature to each cancer.

The chemist says, "Smell 'A' generates a pattern in the nose, a unique set of activated receptors, and these are different for every smell we encounter. Smell 'B' has a different pattern. Your brain will instantly recognize each, even if the only time you ever smelled it was 40 years ago. In the same way, we can tune or teach our nanoparticle array to recognize many healthy tissues, so it can immediately recognize something that's even a little bit 'off,' that is, very subtly different from normal. It's like a 'check engine' light, and assigns a different pattern to each 'wrong' tissue. The sensitivity is exquisite, and very powerful."

For this work, the researchers took healthy tissue and mouse tumor samples and trained the nanoparticle-GFP sensor array to recognize them and the GFP to fluoresce in the presence of metastatic tissue. Metastases are differentiated from healthy tissue in a matter of minutes, providing a rapid and very general means of detecting and identifying cancer and potentially other diseases using minimally invasive microbiopsies.

"It's sensitive to really subtle differences," says Rotello. "Even though two cheeses may look the same, our noses can tell a nicely ripe one from a cheese that's a few days past tasting good. In the same way, once we train the sensor array we can identify whether a tissue sample is healthy or not and what kind of cancer it is with very high accuracy. The sensitivity is impressive from a sample of only about 2,000 cells, a microbiopsy that's less invasive for patients."

In addition to the high sensitivity, the authors point out, their sensor is able to differentiate between low (parental) and high (bone, adrenal, and ovary) metastases, as well as between site-specific cells such as breast, liver, lung and prostate cancers.

"Overall, this array-based sensing strategy presents the prospect of unbiased phenotype screening of tissue states arising from genetic variations and differentiation state." Their next step will be to test the new sensor array method in human tissue samples, the researchers say.


Contact: Janet Lathrop
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Related medicine news :

1. UMass Amherst researchers unravel secrets of parasites replication
2. Improved Developmental Screening Urged for Hispanic Kids
3. Cell death mystery yields new suspect for cancer drug development
4. Saving brains in developing countries: $11.8 million for innovative ideas worldwide
5. Nationwide Childrens Hospital develops prototype for safer, child-resistant spray bottle
6. Gladstone scientists develop technique to decipher the dormant AIDS virus concealed in cells
7. Dengue Vaccine Initiative welcomes latest progress in vaccine development
8. Kings to develop unique sunscreen with Aethic
9. Strategy developed to improve delivery of medicines to the brain
10. New collaboration to develop treatments for liver disease
11. Kids Develop Sense of Humor by Age 1, Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
UMass Amherst chemists develop nose-like sensor array to 'smell' cancer diagnoses
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Lizzie’s Lice Pickers just announced a ... customers 10% off of their purchase of lice treatment product. In addition, customers will ... to a company spokesperson. “Finding lice is a sure way to ruin the holidays, ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... VVA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... motto of progress through sharing, the 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing ... The conference will begin on Sunday, March 6, 2016, at Caesars Palace in ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Keeping in mind ... mental health and wellness consultation, has collaborated with a leading web-based marketplace for ... gap experienced by parents and bring advice from parenting experts within their reach. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... San Francisco, California (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... 1969 Janis Joplin Ann Arbor Michigan boxing style concert posters. This is one of ... 1969 at the Canterbury House at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ON (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... of a real-time eReferral system for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo region. Using ... BMD and Nuclear Medicine tests directly from their electronic medical record (EMR) without ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... , November 27, 2015 ... is set to go online. The potential to save ... is vast and far from fully exploited as yet. ... patient health records, either via mobile tablet or directly ... --> ) --> ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 ... addition of the "2016 Global Tumor ... Country Volume and Sales Segment Forecasts, Innovative ... report to their offering. --> ... of the "2016 Global Tumor Marker ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 --> ... combination approach blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced ... approach blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer. ... approach blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer. ... has found that immunotherapy can be efficiently combined with ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: