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Cell Tracing Using Breakthrough Tracers

Cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality in the US. This killer disease is caused by the unnatural behavior of modified or transformed cells which multiply abnormally when for some reason the body

Cell Tracing

Cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality in the US. This killer disease is caused by the unnatural behavior of modified or transformed cells which multiply abnormally when for some reason the body is unable to control their growth.

Cell Tracing

In mammals, the immunity system is quite intricately developed.  It is believed that the immune system of mammals regularly detect and destroy cells that have been modified or transformed. This process is called immunosurveillance. Exploiting the ability of the adaptive cellular immune system to eliminate tumors, at the same time leaving aside normal tissues, is a prospective therapy for cancer treatment.

 Molecular imaging techniques to track cell populations are considered a powerful diagnostic tool for clinicians and researchers, to decide the immunotherapy for cancer treatment.Fluorescent TracersReal time imaging involves looking at live cells while they are involved in biological processes at the moment of examinations.

 Fluorescent probes allow real-time imaging of live cells. These probes are very sensitive and do not disturb the biological processes that are taking place. They are quite versatile and have a lot of possibilities in imaging.Genetically encoded reporter constructs are revolutionizing the real-time probing. They are derived from fluorescent proteins that are used in visualization and tracking various cellular events.

The new advances in tracers include the development of passive markers to measure biomolecule expression and localization of cells, and the development of active markers to monitor complex bioprocesses.Fluorescent organic cell tracersA probe composed of a small number of aggregating molecules has been developed by Bin Lie, Ben Zhong and their team from Science Technology and Research Institute of Material Research and Engineering in Singapore.The team has developed a new method to track the cells, which is quite superior to the existing methods of cell tracing.

These new organic tracers will provide the researchers and clinicians with a tool which is not only noninvasive but also allows long periods of tracing different biological processes in the patient. This tool is expected to be significantly useful in immunotherapy.The tool consists of a small number of molecules that aggregate that is they have more detectable fluorescence than single molecule prob. They also have less leakage and also show steady fluorescence rather than the usual blink. They do not contain heavy metal ions which can prove to be toxic for living bio systems.These cell tracers are an example of ‘quantum dots’. They are composed of a tiny number of molecules which have optical features that rely on quantum mechanical effects.

 They are known as aggregation-induced emissions dots (AIE dots) as they become photostable and very efficient fluorescent emitters when their component molecules aggregate.The new tracers are carbon based and show more stability than the existing inorganic tracers. They are more biocompatible with cell biochemistry, and fluorescent signals do not overlap with naturally emitted signals of the cells.During the trials, the tracers outperformed the existing commercial inorganic probes.  They will open a new path in following biological processes with fluorescent probes. Their use will enhance understanding carcinogenesis, stem cell transplantations, and other cell-based therapies.

The development of the new organic tracer is a revolution in cancer research and treatment. The new models are noninvasive and nontoxic; hence, add to their usability in imaging the complex bio processes that the cells undergo. It will pave the way for new breakthroughs in understanding cell behavior and locating cells that are not normal. The new cell tracing methodology will significantly enhance the immunotherapy approach to cancer treatment. Who knows, after a few years cancer may become a completely curable disease.

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