Liver Cancer Diagnosis Made Possible With Gold Nanoparticles!
Liver cancer or hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the most debilitating cancers that can kill most of the affected individuals within a 6 month period due to poor diagnosis.
Diagnostic procedures currently available (MRI and CT scans, ultrasound) cannot detect the presence of the tumor until it spreads in diameter by 5 cm (centimeters) which has already reached an aggressive and untreatable stage.
To overcome this problem, a group of researchers from Brown University have come up with a new diagnostic technique that can detect the presence of tumor which is as small as 5 mm (millimeters) in diameter.
The study involved gold nanoparticles of 10 nm and 50 nm (nanometers) in diameter, which were then ringed with 2 polyelectrolyte coatings of 1 nm in diameter. This coating gave the gold nanoparticles the required charge which increased their chance of getting surrounded by tumor cells. The team then used X-ray scatter imaging to observe the gold particles within the tumor cells.
With further clinical investigation, this method of diagnosis can save thousands of lives from dreadful liver cancer.