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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2006 Feb;10(1):56-61. Epub 2006 Jan 18.

Nanoparticles: potential biomarker harvesters.

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Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, George Mason University, Manassas, VA, USA.


A previously untapped bank of information resides within the low molecular weight proteomic fraction of blood. Intensive efforts are underway to harness this information so that it can be used for early diagnosis of diseases such as cancer. The physicochemical malleability and high surface areas of nanoparticle surfaces make them ideal candidates for developing biomarker harvesting platforms. Given the variety of engineering strategies afforded through nanoparticle technologies, a significant goal is to tailor nanoparticle surfaces to selectively bind a subset of biomarkers, sequestering them for later study using high sensitivity proteomic tests. To date, applications of nanoparticles have largely focused on imaging systems and drug delivery vectors. As such, biomarker harvesting is an underutilized application of nanoparticle technology and is an area of nanotechnology research that will likely undergo substantial growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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