Nanorattles Shake Up New Possibilities for Disease Detection

gold nanostars
Image Caption
The starting gold nanosphere seeds (left) are surrounded by a hollow, porous silver cage (middle) and become a nanorattle filled with light-scattering dyes inside a gold outer shell (right). The nanorattles can amplify and detect signals from separate typ

New nanoparticle shape can greatly enhance signals from multiple separate biomarkers at once, accurately detecting head and neck cancers without biopsies to improve global health

Tuan Vo-Dinh
Tuan Vo-Dinh, PhD, is a Duke Cancer Institute Member. LEARN MORE about his research

Researchers at Duke University have developed a unique type of nanoparticle called a “nanorattle” that greatly enhances light emitted from within its outer shell.

Loaded with light scattering dyes called Raman reporters commonly used to detect biomarkers of disease in organic samples, the approach can amplify and detect signals from separate types of nanoprobes without needing an expensive machine or medical professional to read the results.

In a small proof-of-concept study, the nanorattles accurately identified head and neck cancers through an AI-enabled point-of-care device that could revolutionize how these cancers and other diseases are detected in low-resource areas to improve global health.

The results appeared online September 2 in the Journal of Raman Spectroscopy.

“The concept of trapping Raman reporters in these so-called nanorattles has been done before, but most platforms had difficulty controlling the interior dimensions,” said Tuan Vo-Dinh, the R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering and professor of chemistry at Duke.

CONTINUE READING on the Duke Pratt School of Engineering
(originally posted on Sept. 13, 2022)


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