With the goal of achieving early cancer detection, a team of scientists from the Center for Research in Optics (CIO; Guadalajara, Mexico) used an optical radiation method to address this at the cellular level.
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Their challenge was to generate nanostructures capable of identifying the presence of cancer cells in an organism or biological tissue by obtaining an image. The nanostructures have to be selective and indicate only the damaged area, says Gabriel Ramos Ortiz, Ph.D., who led the work. Therefore, they developed organic nanoparticles with optical properties that, when exposed to infrared (IR) radiation, emit intense light that can help find specific damaged areas.
Ramos Ortiz explains that unlike chemotherapy or surgery, which are aggressive and affect other organs, their IR optical radiation method can be used to create a diagnostic image or provide therapy at the cellular level, targeting only the damaged areas.
The research team is also looking to implement optical radiation in microscopy to obtain specific images of the cancer cell. Ramos Ortiz explains that this would enable them to recognize the biological structure of the cell, along with its dynamics and physiology.
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