14 July 2016

Russian-Korean oncodiagnostics

Scientists from MEPhI together with their South Korean colleagues are completing the development of a new cancer diagnosis system

Scientists from the National Research Nuclear University "MEPhI" together with colleagues from the Pohang University of Science and Technology (Pohang University of Science and Technology) of the Republic of Korea are completing the development of a unique nanosystem for the early diagnosis of cancer.

The nanosystem created by scientists – the "diagnostic nanoprobe" – consists of a brightly fluorescent semiconductor particle with a size of several nanometers and special molecules connected to its surface ("single-domain antibodies") capable of recognizing cancer cells of a certain type and connecting with them, thereby making them "visible". The nanosystem uses only antibodies obtained from the organisms of llamas, camels and sharks, as compared with antibodies produced in the organisms of other animals, they have a simpler structure and smaller size.

The scheme of the diagnostic nanoprobe

Korean researchers have synthesized semiconductor nanoparticles capable of glowing in the infrared region of the spectrum. Russian scientists were able to combine single-domain antibodies with the surface of nanoparticles in a special way. As a result, it was possible to achieve the highest possible efficiency of recognition of cancer cells in animal experiments.

The use of nanocrystals as fluorophores in LNBI NRU MEPhI

 "The advantage of the new nanoprobe is its small size – the diameter of the diagnostic tags being created is 13 times smaller than known analogues – as well as its higher stability (the nanoprobe does not disintegrate at high temperatures) and the specificity of recognizing the presence of cancer cells," said Igor Nabiev, a leading scientist at the interdepartmental Laboratory of Nano–bioengineering at MEPhI.

He added that "the fluorescence of the nanoparticles used in the infrared range makes it possible to use the transparency area of biological tissues, which, combined with the high brightness of the nanoprobe glow, allows you to see it even at a significant depth of penetration, detecting cancer cells in almost any part of the body."

According to the scientist, the new diagnostic system uses molecules that recognize breast or prostate cancer cells. However, the use of a similar technology with the use of other recognition molecules will make it possible to diagnose other oncological, infectious, inflammatory, as well as immune diseases. In addition to diagnostics, the nanoprobes being developed can also be used for targeted drug delivery.

Work on a diagnostic nanoprobe within the framework of a joint Russian-Korean project is carried out with the support of the Government of the Russian Federation. Now scientists are at the final stage of technology development, two patents have been filed for inventions. The introduction of a new diagnostic system into medical practice is expected within 2-3 years after the end of the project and the completion of preclinical and clinical trials, the report says.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru  14.07.2016

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