Design of Gold Nanorod Based Nanosensors for Circulating Tumor DNA Screening

L. Zhang, A. Tadimety, N. Hao, J.X.J. Zhang
The Lawrenceville School,
United States

Keywords: nanosensor, nanorod, geometry, ctDNA, label-free


Cancer has been the leading cause of death worldwide with 1.8 million new cancer cases and over 600,000 deaths in 2019 alone. As the focus of cancer diagnosis has become shifted towards personalized care, molecular diagnostics is a promising method for individualized monitoring of patient tumors, as well as its genetic and phenotypic characteristics. Specifically, genomic analysis of tumors has become the standard of care for precision medicine. In recent years, Liquid Biopsy has become popular method of minimally invasive Cancer detection. ctDNA is a particularly promising biomarker due to its capability to capture both the genetic and epigenetic changes within a tumor. Moreover, its short half-life allows for a representative snapshot of the tumor’s genetic profile. Enrichment and quantitation of ctDNA, however, is a challenge because of its low concentration and the presence of non-tumor specific cell-free DNA in the blood. This study involved designing and fabricating various geometric shapes of gold nanoparticles using chemical synthesis. Further, such gold nanorods were conjugated with Peptide Nucleic Acid (PNA) probes for fast detection of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). ctDNA. It has wide ranging applications as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker with a similar mutational profile as the tumor.