Ultrasharp Rainbow Nanoparticles Can Revolutionize Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

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A University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) researcher and his team have discovered that by manipulating and fine-tuning the specific color of gold nanoparticles, cancer diagnosis can become more specific, and therapy more efficient.

The discovery by Vladimir Zharov, Ph.D., director of the Phillips Classic Laser and Nanomedicine Laboratory, Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery at UAMS, and his team is published recently in Nature Photonics, a prestigious monthly journal featuring groundbreaking research in all areas of light generation, manipulation and detection.

The finding builds on Zharov’s previous discoveries involving the use of cancer-detecting gold and magnetic nanoparticles. Zharov’s new discovery finds that by manipulating the color of the gold nanoparticles with a laser before injection into the bloodstream, they can return more precise and valuable diagnostic information as they match up with specific biomarkers in a patient’s bloodstream. This laser-based color amplification or inhibition that leads to “color holes” as a sign of therapeutic efficiency is universal and can be applied to the existing and newly developing world of nanoparticles.