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Nanotechnology logical OR to fight cancer

Nanotechwire.com reports on clever work at UCSD on detecting cancer using today’s early nanotechnology-based particles:

There is a growing recognition among cancer researchers that the most accurate methods for detecting early-stage cancer will require the development of sensitive assays that can identify simultaneously multiple biomarkers associated with malignant cells. Now, using sets of nanoparticles designed to aggregate in response to finding more cancer biomarkers, a team of researchers funded by the Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer has developed a multiplexed analytical system that could detect cancer using standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)…

The investigators call this nanoparticle pair a logical AND — it only produces an MRI signal boost when both enzymes are present — and they note that they can create such an AND system using any pair of linker proteins that would act as substrates for any pair of enzymes.

Next, the investigators created a logical OR system, one that would produce an MRI signal boost when either MMP2 or MMP7 are present.

Let’s hope this kind of work gets fast-track treatment by the powers that be. —Christine

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