July 6, 2009 – Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine used dye-containing nanoparticles to simultaneously image two features within single cells, surpassing current single-cell flow cytometry technologies that provide up to 17 simultaneous visualizations.
The team, led by Cathy Shachaf, Ph.D., applied this technique by enhancing the detection of ultraspecific but very weak patterns, known as Raman signals, that molecules emit in response to light, according to the study published in the peer-reviewed online journal PLoS ONE.
The Stanford researchers simultaneously monitored changes in two intracellular proteins that play crucial roles in the development of cancer. Successful development of the new technique may improve scientists’ ability not only to diagnose cancers but to separate living, biopsied cancer cells from one another based on characteristics indicating their stage of progression or their degree of resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs. This would clinicians to expedite testing of treatments targeting a tumor’s most recalcitrant cells.
For more information: www.plosone.org