Lighting up cancer diagnostics

An interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers from France, Russia, and Britain has led to a method of labeling specific molecules within cells using nanoscale marker particles. The nanoparticles can be detected from their very strong fluorescence when any light from ultraviolet to red is shone on them. The team is already testing in real-time samples taken from cancer patients and finding they can spot tell-tale markers associated with the disease. Existing fluorescent dyes suffer from photodegradation but these crystalline nanoparticles extremely stable and fluoresce for many days.