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|Elucidating Raman Image-Guided Differential Recognition of Clinically Confirmed Grades of Cervical Exfoliated Cells by Dual Biomarker-Appended SERS-Tag
peptides and proteins
|American Chemical Society
|Analytical Chemistry; 93(32): 11140-11150
|Ultrasensitive detection of cancer biomarkers via single-cell analysis through Raman imaging is an impending approach that modulates the possibility of early diagnosis. Cervical cancer is one such type that can be monitored for a sufficiently long period toward invasive cancer phenotype. Herein, we report a surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanotag (SERS-tag) for the simultaneous detection of p16/K-i67, a dual biomarker persisting in the progression of squamous cell carcinoma of human cervix. A nanoflower-shaped SERS-tag, constituted of hybrid gold nanostar with silver tips to achieve maximum fingerprint enhancement from the incorporated reporter molecule, was further functionalized with the cocktail monoclonal antibodies against p16/K-i67. The recognition by the SERS-tag was first validated in cervical squamous cell carcinoma cell line SiHa as a foot-step study and subsequently implemented to different grades of clinically confirmed exfoliated cells including normal cell (NC), high-grade intra-epithelial lesion (HC), and squamous cell carcinoma (CC) samples of the cervix. Precise Raman mapped images were constituted based on the average intensity gradient of the signature Raman peaks arising from different grades of exfoliated cells. We observed a distinct intensity hike of around 10-fold in the single dysplastic HC and CC samples in comparison to NC specimen, which clearly justify the prevalence of p16/Ki-67. The synthesized probe is able to map the abnormal cells within 20 min with high reproducibility and stability for 1 mm × 1 mm mapping area with good contrast. Amidst the challenges in Raman image-guided modality, the technique was further complemented with the gold standard immunocytochemistry (ICC) dual staining analysis. Even though both are time-consuming techniques, tedious steps can be avoided and real-time readout can be achieved using the SERS mapping unlike immunocytochemistry technique. Therefore, the newly developed Raman image-guided SERS imaging emphasizes the approach of uplifting of SERS in practical utility with further improvement for clinical applications for cervical cancer detection in future.
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