Scientist Colin Compbell with his teamers from the University of Edinburgh developed a new method for tumor cell condition inspection for more personalized treatment. But at present, the method is limited to prostate cancer cells, and the study for wider application is undergoing.

Prostate cancer is one of the main killing diseases in the world in recent years. And the treatment for it relies on radioactive therapy and customized drugs in accordance with the patient’s specific cancer development. To better evaluate the individual condition for this cancer, the team led by Colin Compbell started the research and finally they achieved it.

Gold nanoshells installed with pH and redox probes under the assistance of SERS (Surface-enhanced Raman scattering) was proved highly effective in killing tumor cells while inspecting the status of the cells and capturing the cell culture process in 3D forms, which providing more thoroughly knowledge on the tumor development than the traditional ways as they are limited in presenting the process in 2D form.

The method stands out in three aspects. With the attached pH and redox probes, the golden nanoshells can detect the reasons for the cell death. As it’s showed in the article titled as Measuring the effects of fractionated radiation therapy in a 3D prostate cancer model system using SERS nanosensors that Ionising radiation cause the leak of alkaline substances from the mitochondria that makes the cell condition extremely high in pH and directly lead to the deduction oxide involved live activities, then death of the cell.

Secondly, the method can offer a widow for cell culture in 3D vision. With the function, the complexity of the cells can be probed furtherly, superior to the traditional methods with ability limited to 2D images.

It also can suggest the most effective amount and inform how to distribute the amount of drugs for the best treatment result. In the study for the application of prostate cancer, it was tested that with the same total amount of drugs, two doses are better than one-time dose or three-time dose in general effect.

Now the team is working on other types of cancer applications, and great potential is showed.

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