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August 12, 2015

New approach to screening drugs using gold nanoparticles

Chemists have devised a multi-channel, signature-based approach to screening drugs using gold nanoparticles with red, green and blue outputs provided by fluorescent proteins.

Traditional screening methods currently used are time-consuming and require special equipment. The new approach can accurately profile various anti-cancer drugs and their mechanisms in minutes.

This invention could potentially have a substantial impact on the drug discovery pipeline says Le Ngoc, a doctoral graduate student who worked on the research with lead researcher and chemist Vincent Rotello. "The sensor is not only able to profile mechanisms for individual drugs but also determine the mechanisms of drug mixtures; that is, drug 'cocktails' that are an emerging tool with many therapies," says Ngoc.

The research was supported in part by the Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing at UMass Amherst, a National Science Foundation Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, under grant CMMI 10-25020.

To learn more about this research, see the UMass Amherst news release Promising new method found for rapidly screening cancer drugs. (Date of Image: 2013-2014)

Credit: Vincent Rotello, Department of Chemistry, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

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