College of Science

Clemson cancer-detection biosensor featured on World Cancer Day


The American Institute of Physics (AIP) “Scilight” featured physics assistant professor Rama Podila’s latest cancer-detection biosensor work on World Cancer Day (Feb. 4, 2020). Podila and his graduate students Bipin Sharma and Prakash Parajuli developed a sensing technique to detect up to femtomoles of a particular protein (uPA) that indicates cancer metastasis.

Prakash and Bipin biosensor
Prakash Parajuli (seated left) and Bipin Sharma developed a paper-based sensor that detects up to femtomoles of a particular protein (uPA) that indicates cancer metastasis. Both doctoral students are members of Rama Podila’s research group.

The team combined quantum mechanical density functional theory calculations, nanomaterials, and principles of spectroscopy to achieve a new sensing technique called “Analyte-induced disruption of luminescence quenching (AIDLuQ)” that is rapid and more efficient compared to traditional assays. Their sensor is based on paper-based, graphene-gold nanoparticles.

By further refining the technology, the team aims to create an inexpensive hand-held, point-of-care device capable of detecting and monitoring various forms of cancer, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. They conducted their work at Clemson’s Nanomaterials Institute; it is published in Nanoscale 11 (29), 14010-14015 and Biointerphases DOI: 10.1116/1.5128889.

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