Test Strips for Cancer Detection Get Upgraded with Nanoparticle Bling
Detecting cancer could be as easy as a home pregnancy test. Platinum-coated gold nanoparticles could make cheap and simple test strip detection a reality.
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 (Chem). The research was published recently in Nano Letters. Read the full story.