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Breakthrough Technology Finds Cancer Cells in Bodily Fluids

A team of researchers at UCSB has developed a technology that can be used to discriminate cancerous prostate cells in bodily fluids from those that are healthy.

The team, led by first author Alessia Pallaoro, UCSB postdoctoral fellow in Chemistry and Biochemistry, developed a novel technique to discriminate between cancerous and non-cancerous cells using a type of laser spectroscopy called surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) and silver nanoparticles, which are biotags.

They are confident that it will be useful in developing a microdevice that will help in understanding when prostate cancer will metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body. They are working to translate the technology into a diagnostic microdevice in which cells would be mixed with nanoparticles and passed through a laser, then discriminated by the ratio of two signals.

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