A New Generation of Nanotools-Nanotechnology in Biology and Medicine: Methods, Devices, and Applications
Dr. Tuan Vo-Dinh, et al. Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics Duke University
The combination of nanotechnology and molecular biology has produced a new generation of devices capable of probing the cell machinery and elucidating molecular-level life processes heretofore beyond the scope of human inquiry. Nanocarriers having antibodies for recognizing target species and spectroscopic labels (fluorescence, Raman) for in vivo tracking have been developed for seamless diagnostic and therapeutic operations.
Dynamic information of signaling processes inside living cells is important to the fundamental biological understanding of cellular processes. Many traditional microscopy techniques involve incubation of cells with fluorescent dyes or nanoparticles and examining the interaction of these dyes with compounds of interest. However, when a dye or nanoparticle is incubated into a cell, it is transported to certain intracellular sites that may or may not be where it is most likely to stay and not to areas where the investigator would like to monitor.
The fluorescence signals, which are supposed to reflect the interaction of the dyes with chemicals of interest, are generally directly related to the dye concentration as opposed to the analyte concentration. Only with optical nanosensors can excitation light be delivered to specific locations inside cells.
of biomarkers in tissues. Nanosensors are an important technology that can be used to measure biotargets in a living cell and that does not significantly affect cell viability. Following measurements using the nanobiosensor, cells have been shown to survive and undergo mitosis.
Biomedical nanosensors, which have been used to investigate the effect of cancer drugs in cells , will play an important role in the future of medicine.