Prostate cancer is the most common cancer and second leading cause of death in American men. Approximately 180,000 new cases are diagnosed yearly, and 40,000 men will die from the disease this year. As they age, most men will develop either benign (non-cancerous) prostate enlargement or prostate cancer. Currently, the most commonly used diagnostic techniques often do not find tumors until after they are large enough to metastasize to a different location in the body and are much more difficult to treat. Researchers in the new research partnership will develop advanced nanoparticle technologies for extremely sensitive profiling of biomarkers on cancer cells and tissue specimens. The use of nanotechnology enables researchers to combine traditional pathology and cancer biology with highly sensitive molecular analysis.
In addition to basic knowledge on cancer biology and biomarkers, the Bioengineering Research Partnership is expected to produce a database linking molecular signatures with clinical outcome; a new class of nanoparticles for molecular profiling of cancer; and imaging microscopes and software that are integrated with the new discoveries in nanotechnology.
The exploratory center grant will be used to develop advanced nanoparticle quantum dot probes for molecular and cellular imaging. A nanoparticle is the basic building block of nanotechnology. Quantum dots are nanometer-sized luminescent semiconductor crystals that have unique electronic and optical properties due to their size and their highly compact structure.
"The goal of this exploratory program is to develop a new class of bioconjugated quantum dots that can both image and target single-molecule processes in single living cells," said Dr. Nie. "Qu
Contact: Holly Korschun
Emory University Health Sciences Center