Tumors that Glow in the Dark

Dr. Liu from the Technical University of Michigan is developing a fluorescent probe that might help light up tumor cells. Some of the properties of this probe include: the ability to penetrate deep tissues, its infrared properties make the malignant tissues look different than the healthy tissues that normally glow green or blue, the substance is nontoxic, the fluorescence is stable and long lasting and thus can last during surgeries. The probe bonds to an enzyme, beta galactosidase. In the past it has been used widely to label a variety of antibodies. The probe is still in development, but this will be a monumental breakthrough in cancer therapy.


  1. Jingtuo Zhang, Cong Li, Colina Dutta, Mingxi Fang, Shuwei Zhang, Ashutosh Tiwari, Thomas Werner, Fen-Tair Luo, Haiying Liu. A novel near-infrared fluorescent probe for sensitive detection of β -galactosidase in living cellsAnalytica Chimica Acta, 2017; DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2017.02.039


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