2021-08-21Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3390/cancers13164206
Nanotechnology in Tumor Biomarker Detection: The Potential of Liganded Nanoclusters as Nonlinear Optical Contrast Agents for Molecular Diagnostics of Cancer
Cancer is one of the leading causes of premature death, and, as such, it can be prevented by developing strategies for early and accurate diagnosis. Cancer diagnostics has evolved from the macroscopic detection of malignant tissues to the fine analysis of tumor biomarkers using personalized medicine approaches. Recently, various nanomaterials have been introduced into the molecular diagnostics of cancer. This has resulted in a number of tumor biomarkers that have been detected in vitro and in vivo using nanodevices and corresponding imaging techniques. Atomically precise ligand-protected noble metal quantum nanoclusters represent an interesting class of nanomaterials with a great potential for the detection of tumor biomarkers. They are characterized by high biocompatibility, low toxicity, and suitability for controlled functionalization with moieties specifically recognizing tumor biomarkers. Their non-linear optical properties are of particular importance as they enable the visualization of nanocluster-labeled tumor biomarkers using non-linear optical techniques such as two-photon-excited fluorescence and second harmonic generation. This article reviews liganded nanoclusters among the different nanomaterials used for molecular cancer diagnosis and the relevance of this new class of nanomaterials as non-linear optical probe and contrast agents.
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