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SERS for detection and ablation of tumours

8 March 2021 | News
by Ian Michael

Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) as an imaging technique is marked by its superb sensitivity, minimal background interference and minimal damage to normal tissues for biomedical applications. Moreover, the Raman probe has the advantages of high specificity and ultra-low signal interference, thus showing great promise in the biomedical field. Most current research is primarily focused on in vitro cancer diagnosis, which is confined to the diagnosis and treatment of tumours, such as glioma, in the in vivo state.

Recently, the research team led by Zhou Min from the Zhejiang University Institute of Translational Medicine has made progress in the precise diagnosis and treatment of abdominal tumours by SERS-based imaging. Tumours have a high rate of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Abdominal tumours, including orthotopic colon or ovarian tumours, are among the most malignant types of tumours because of their extensive dissemination and metastasis. Since these malignant tumours are highly invasive and metastatic and they can migrate to surrounding tissues and critical organs, surgical resection is clinically challenging, thereby leading to high recurrence and mortality rates.

Diethylthiatricarbocyanine iodide (DTTC) is a common infrared dye molecule that has been used as a reporter adsorbed on the surface of the gold nanoparticles in SERS applications. The team conjugated the DTTC molecules to the surface of the urchin‐like nanoparticles by using an Au–S bonding to create an active SERS probe (Au–[email protected]), wherein the DTTC signal can be used for specific detection of nanoparticles by SERS imaging. This probe can be used for intraoperative Raman‐guided resection of tumours. Meanwhile, a post-surgical photothermal therapy (PTT) can also be applied to selective ablation of tumour margin residues, thus significantly reducing the tumour recurrences.

“Raman imaging, as a high-resolution and sensitive intraoperative approach, shows great promise for targeted detection and ablation of residual tumours after resection within different organs”, Zhou Min said.

Read the original journal paper in Advanced Science

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