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Proceedings Paper

Detecting cancer quickly and accurately
Author(s): Paul Lee Gourley; Anthony E. McDonald; Judy Kay Hendricks; G. C. Copeland; John A. Hunter; O. Akhil; D. Cheung; Jimmy D. Cox; H. Capps; Mark S. Curry; Steven K. Skirboll
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Paper Abstract

We present a new technique for high throughput screening of tumor cells in a sensitive nanodevice that has the potential to quickly identify a cell population that has begun the rapid protein synthesis and mitosis characteristic of cancer cell proliferation. Currently, pathologists rely on microscopic examination of cell morphology using century-old staining methods that are labor-intensive, time-consuming and frequently in error. New micro-analytical methods for automated, real time screening without chemical modification are critically needed to advance pathology and improve diagnoses. We have teamed scientists with physicians to create a microlaser biochip (based upon our R&D award winning bio- laser concept) which evaluates tumor cells by quantifying their growth kinetics. The key new discovery was demonstrating that the lasing spectra are sensitive to the biomolecular mass in the cell, which changes the speed of light in the laser microcavity. Initial results with normal and cancerous human brain cells show that only a few hundred cells -- the equivalent of a billionth of a liter -- are required to detect abnormal growth. The ability to detect cancer in such a minute tissue sample is crucial for resecting a tumor margin or grading highly localized tumor malignancy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 March 2000
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3912, Micro- and Nanotechnology for Biomedical and Environmental Applications, (15 March 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.379563
Show Author Affiliations
Paul Lee Gourley, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Anthony E. McDonald, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Judy Kay Hendricks, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
G. C. Copeland, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
John A. Hunter, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
O. Akhil, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
D. Cheung, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Jimmy D. Cox, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
H. Capps, Univ. of New Mexico School of Medicine (United States)
Mark S. Curry, Univ. of New Mexico School of Medicine (United States)
Steven K. Skirboll, Univ. of New Mexico School of Medicine (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3912:
Micro- and Nanotechnology for Biomedical and Environmental Applications
Raymond P. Mariella Jr., Editor(s)

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