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Fields & Applications Spectroscopy, Clinical

Fluid Diagnosis – with SERS

Ever-increasing knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underlying cancer are supercharging the development of improved diagnostic tools. Capitalizing on this knowledge, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has demonstrated utility in the liquid biopsy of gastrointestinal tumors. “Replacing endoscopy with a non-invasive liquid strategy could tremendously improve gastrointestinal tumor diagnosis by sparing patients this unpleasant procedure,” says Vlad Moisiou – a spectroscopist investigating the approach.

Other advantages? “The ease with which it could be implemented as a screening strategy in clinics and large population studies,” says Moisiou. But how do they do it? By mixing patient serum with metal nanoparticle colloidal solution, adding ions (in this case Ca2+ and Cl-) to amplify the signal, and applying SERS. “Our efforts bridge the gap between mechanistic insights into physical processes behind SERS and clinical applications,” Moisiou adds. Moving forward, the team hopes to advance their approach to a standard technique for application in hospitals and beyond.


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  1. L Avram et al., J Clin Med, 13, E212. DOI: 10.3390/jcm9010212
About the Author
Matt Hallam

I've always wanted a job that fosters creativity - even when I worked on the assembly line in a fish factory. Outside work, I satisfy this need by writing questionable fiction. The venture into science writing was an unexpected departure from this fiction, but I'm truly grateful for the opportunity to combine my creative side with my scientific mind as Editor of The Analytical Scientist.

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