[Kim Su-dong's Science Story] Attracting cancer cells by using innocuous gold or silver nanoparticles
[Kim Su-dong's Science Story] Attracting cancer cells by using innocuous gold or silver nanoparticles
  • By Kim Su-dong (info@koreaittimes.com)
  • 승인 2015.01.26 23:06
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Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) occurs when molecules or cells absorb light and interact with conductive metals (e.g. gold, silver, bronze and other compounds). The intensity of Raman scattering by molecules adsorbed on rough metal surfaces is over 1,000 times that of general Raman scattering.

SERS-induced thermal destruction of cancer cells

Cancer cells and their surroundings maintain low pH levels owing to lactic acid secreted by cancer cells. Cancer cells’ low-efficiency energy production and production of ATP without using oxygen cool down the temperatures of their surroundings.

In addition, cancer cells create lots of new blood vessels in a complex, untidy manner. When the temperatures of normal cells exceed 42℃, they widen their capillaries to let off steam while cancer cells explode under the same circumstances because their untidily intertwined capillaries are in capable of vasodilatation.

Therefore, combing cancer drugs with drug carriers specifically targeting the cancer cell nucleus, and with SERS facilitators could be very effective in analyzing and destroying cancer cells. Once such drugs have been delivered to cancer cells, visible light beams will be shot onto the target area to cause SERS-induced thermal destruction of the cancer cells.

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