Medical Diagnostics
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    In recent years, the application of nanomaterials in medical diagnosis has aroused great interest due to their superior performance compared with traditional materials. Many different application areas have been identified, from monitoring diseases or treatments to identifying tissue types in cases where transplantation is required. Alfa Chemistry extensively explores nanomaterials for medical diagnosis, including organic or inorganic materials, or a combination of both, that is, hybrid nanomaterials.

    Nanomaterials for Medical Diagnosis

    Organic nanomaterials, including carbon nanotubes, nanocrystals, liposomes, dendrimers, micelles, hyperbranched organic polymers, molecularly imprinted nanostructures, and polymer hydrogel nanoparticles, have been widely used for imaging and treatment Agent.

    Inorganic nanomaterials such as quantum dots, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, metal nanoparticles, and metal oxides have attracted great attention in medical diagnosis, especially in the construction of biosensing and biosensors. These materials have important applications for various molecular imaging technologies, including magnetic resonance imaging, optical imaging, and ultrasound imaging technologies.

    The unique characteristics of nanomaterials also allow the use of a wide range of diagnostic methods, such as surface modification with nanomaterials to obtain more available binding sites for immobilizing receptor molecules, and the use of nanoparticle-labeled disease biomarkers to enhance the signal to improve the sensitivity and specificity of bioassays.

    Helping Medical Diagnosis

    Nanomaterials have been expanding the status quo of molecular diagnosis, instant diagnosis, disease treatment, and personalized medicine. Alfa Chemistry provides a survey of medical diagnostic technology based on nanotechnology.

    • Researchers are using gold nanoparticles to develop rapid diagnostic tests for Covid-19.
    • Researchers are using silver-plated gold nanostars in sensors to detect RNA molecules that are an early indicator of cancer.
    • A method is being developed to detect cancer cells in the bloodstream using nanoparticles called NanoFlares. It is designed to bind to gene targets in cancer cells and generate light when that specific gene target is found.

    Helping Medical DiagnosisFigure.1 Schematic of NanoFlare structure and function. The NanoFlare contains a monolayer of antisense DNA adsorbed to the surface of a 13-nm spherical gold nanoparticle. A reporter flare sequence is hybridized to the recognition sequence, which contains a fluorophore (red). The dye is quenched in close proximity to the gold surface. The reporter flare is displaced when complementary mRNA (blue) binds the recognition sequence, providing a fluorescent signal. (Halo T. L, et al. 2014)

    • Researchers are developing a nanoparticle for early detection of cancer tumors. When the nanoparticles are attached to cancer tumors, the nanoparticles release "biomarkers", which are peptide molecules. The idea is that because each nanoparticle carries a variety of peptides, high concentrations of these biomarkers will appear even in the early stages of cancer, so that the disease can be detected early.
    • An early diagnosis method for brain cancer is being developed using magnetic nanoparticles and nuclear magnetic resonance technology. Magnetic nanoparticles attach to particles called microbubbles in the blood, which originate from brain cancer cells. Then use NMR to detect these microbubbles/magnetic nanoparticle clusters for early diagnosis. .
    • Carbon nanotubes and gold nanoparticles are used in sensors that detect proteins that indicate oral cancer. Tests have shown that this sensor can accurately detect oral cancer and provide results in less than an hour.
    • Gold nanoparticles with antibodies can quickly diagnose influenza viruses. When light hits a sample containing virus particles and nanoparticles, the amount of light reflected will increase, because the nanoparticles are clustered around the virus particles, which can be much faster than the detection speed currently used.

    Helping Medical DiagnosisFigure.2 AuNP-based immunoassays for the detection of hantaan virus (HTNV) and Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV). (A) Immuno-PCR assay for HTNV detection using AuNP probes dually functionalized with antibody (Ab) and double-stranded (ds)DNA. (B) Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS)-based assay for detection of RVFV using Raman reporter dye-coated AuNPs and magnetic NPs (MNPs).. (Draz M. S, et al. 2018)


    1. Halo T. L, et al. (2014). “NanoFlares for the Detection, Isolation, and Culture of Live Tumor Cells from Human Blood.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 111(48): 17104-17109.
    2. Draz M. S, et al. (2018). “Applications of Gold Nanoparticles in Virus Detection.” Theranostics. 8(7): 1985-2017.
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