To date, the methods for detection of cancer cells are mostly based on traditional techniques used in biology, such as visual identification of malignant changes, cell-growth analysis, specific ligand–receptor labeling, or genetic tests. Despite being well developed, these methods are either insufficiently accurate or require a lengthy complicated analysis. A search for alternative methods for the detection of cancer cells may be a fruitful approach. Proposed here is a novel method for the detection of cancer cells in vitro, which is based on nonspecific adhesion of silica beads to cells. First, atomic force microscopy is used to study the adhesion of single silica beads to malignant and normal cells cultured from human cervix. It is found that adhesion depends on the time of contact, and can be statistically different for malignant and normal cells. Using these data, an optical method utilizing fluorescent silica beads is developed, which is based on detection of the difference in the number of adherent particles. The method is tested using primary cells cultured from cervical tissues of three healthy individuals and three patients with cervical cancer. The method shows sufficiently high sensitivity for cancer to make it interesting to perform further statistical tests.
Iyer, K., Woodworth, C. D., Gaikwad, R. M., Kievsky, Y. Y., & Sokolov, I. (2009). Towards Nonspecific Detection of Malignant Cervical Cells with Fluorescent Silica Beads. Small, 5(20), 2277-2284. https://doi.org/10.1002/smll.200900434