, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 331-339

Ultrafast Nanolaser Flow Device for Detecting Cancer in Single Cells

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Currently, pathologists rely on labor-intensive microscopic examination of tumor cells using staining techniques originally devised in the 1880s that depend heavily on specimen preparation and that can give false readings. Emerging BioMicroNanotechnologies (Gourley, 2005) have the potential to provide accurate, realtime, high throughput screening of tumor cells without invasive chemical reagents. These techniques are critical to advancing early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. Using a new technique to rapidly assess the properties of cells flown through a nanolaser semiconductor device, we discovered a method to rapidly assess the respiratory health of a single mammalian cell. The key discovery was the elucidation of biophotonic differences in normal and transformed (cancer) mouse liver cells by using intracellular mitochondria as biomarkers for disease. This technique holds promise for detecting cancer at a very early stage and could nearly eliminate delays in diagnosis and treatment.