Sticking it to cancer

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Ghidewon Arefe is a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, studying ways to target cancer with nanotechnology.
Arefe and Hubel

Arefe and Professor Allison Hubel are working on ways to coat the glowing quantum dots with cancer antibodies. When injected into the body, the dots will seek out and bind to the cancer cells. Then, with a little UV light, a digital camera, and some filters, Arefe and Hubel should be able to precisely detect cancer cells in the breast. This new method could detect cancer much earlier and more reliably than normal mammograms.

zoom in on the quantum dot

Arefe and Hubel have tested their quantum dot method by targeting mouse liver cells. Up next? Detecting cancer cells.