28. Aug. 2017

The patient will come to the doctor in the future and drop a drop of blood on a special nanophotonic chip. If the patient has a so-called tumor marker in the blood that signals an early stage of cancer, the light spectrum changes immediately, so it is possible to see if the patient suffers from this disease. This may soon be the case with nanophotonics. This science discipline tries to influence the behavior of light through small nanostructures and finds use in optics, medicine, and electrical engineering.

"It works much like a known litmus paper that shows the pH of the solution, such as pool water. Similarly, special nanophotonic chip particles are introduced, most commonly silver or gold, and which have the ability to attract a particular DNA. When these DNA molecules are captured on the nanoparticles, it changes the color of the light that falls on it. The disadvantage of these biosensors is that it is still necessary to have a special surface of nanopho- notic chip for every kind of DNA, "said Petr Dvorak, who works at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and the research center of CEITEC BUT.