It is imperative that accurate methods be developed for precise imaging of diseased tissues and for analysis of diseased cells after they have been removed from the body. In the Day Lab, we are exploiting nanoshells’ unique optical properties and simple gold/thiol bioconjugation chemistry in order to use them as contrast agents for a variety of optical imaging modalities and to use them to enhance the detection limit of traditional enzyme linked immunosorbent assays. In one specific application, we are coating nanoshells with antibodies against receptors that are over-expressed by circulating tumor cells (CTCs), and demonstrating that we can enhance the detection limit of these CTCs relative to traditional assays. In the above schematic, the CTC is blue, the nanoshells are yellow, and the antibodies are red.
1. Billingsley MM, Riley RS, Day ES. Antibody-nanoparticle conjugates to improve the sensitivity of ELISA-based detection methods. PLOS ONE. 2017; 12(5); e0177592.
2. Day ES, Bickford LR, Slater JH, Riggall NS, Drezek RA, West JL. Antibody-conjugated gold-gold sulfide nanoparticles as multifunctional agents for imaging and therapy of breast cancer. International Journal of Nanomedicine. 2010; 5: 445-454.
3. Rostro-Kohanloo BC, Bickford LR, Payne CM, Day ES, Anderson LJE, Zhong M, Lee S, Mayer KM, Zal T, Adam L, Dinney CPN, Drezek RA, West JL, Hafner JH. The stabilization and targeting of surfactant-synthesized gold nanorods. Nanotechnology. 2009; 20: 434005.