Brightening Tumor Analysis

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Science  15 Dec 2006:
Vol. 314, Issue 5806, pp. 1661
DOI: 10.1126/science.314.5806.1661a

In order to better understand the growth of cancerous tumors, clinicians may evaluate hundreds of samples for the expression of certain proteins, ideally in a quantitative fashion. Current methods of analysis tend to be only semiquantitative, however, because the fluorescence signals generated from dyes may be distorted by tissue autofluorescence and photobleaching, and moreover, immunochemistry techniques can suffer from the imprecision of scoring by visual inspection. Ghazani et al. use semiconductor nanocrystals, or quantum dots (QDs), to implement a quantitative analysis technique. In contrast to fluorescent dyes, QDs have much brighter fluorescence signals and are less prone to photobleaching. The QDs in this case are bioconjugated for specific antigens, and the output fluorescence of a full array can be measured using optical spectroscopy. Efficient algorithms facilitate subtraction of tissue autofluorescence, as well as other automated corrections. Thus, intensity values can be used to give accurate, sensitive, and quantitative measurements for a range of protein markers. — MSL

Nano Lett. 6, 10.1021/nl062111n (2006).

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