Harvard’s Dr. Charles Lieber is working on a diagnostic array that can work in the blood, binding to individual circulating cancer markers. The MIT Technology Review has the story:
Lieber’s prototype builds on what University of California, Berkeley chemistry professor Paul Alivisatos has called “a breakthrough series of experiments.” To detect specific cancer markers, Lieber attached a monoclonal antibody specific for a certain type of protein to nanowires each about as narrow as a virus. Some earlier experiments showed that changes in the conductivity of nanowires occurs when proteins bind to an antibody. The more proteins that bind, the more the conductivity changes, revealing the concentration of the protein.
In his latest device, Lieber combined multiple nanowire detectors, each primed to be sensitive to a different cancer marker. The resulting ability to detect more than one marker is the key because cancers vary.
More from the Lieber lab, one of the best lab sites we’ve seen…