Korean and American joint research team develops One-Shot Cancer Diagnosis
A Korean and American joint research team has developed a nano-capsule that makes diagnosing cancer within 24 hours possible by injecting the substance into the human body. The organic fluorescent dye contained in the capsule glows in different colors in the presence of different types of cancer cells. The team used an upconversion organic fluorescent dye that emits short wavelength color (blue) that has high energy levels when stimulated with long wavelength light (red) that has low energy levels.
Two different types of dye are placed in the nano-capsules. When the capsules are injected into the human body, and long wavelength light is applied, different colors of cancer cells appear depending on the type of cancer. The research team commented that the new method could quickly and accurately diagnose cancer, reducing pain, stress, and financial burdens for patients. The team developed mice with colorectal cancer and breast cancer. They then injected the mice with nano-capsules containing florescent dye that combines with each cancer cell and applied light.
The colorectal cancer cells turned green, and the breast cancer cells turned blue. With the use of long wavelength light, which does almost no harm to human tissue, cancer can be efficiently diagnosed. In addition, the silica nano-capsule technology makes the procedure harmless to the human body. The research team commented that it was the first time upconversion organic fluorescent dye was used in diagnosing an animal. To apply the technology to humans, more research still needs to be done.