Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) biomarker assays are the current clinical method for mass screening of prostate cancer. However, high false-positive rates are often reported due to PSA’s low specificity, leading to an urgent need for the development of a more specific detection system independent of PSA levels. In our previous research, we demonstrated the feasibility of using cellular refractive indices (RI) as a unique contrast parameter to accomplish label-free detection of prostate cancer cells via variance testing, but were unable to determine if a specific cell was cancerous or noncancerous. In this paper, we report the use of our Photonic-Crystal biosensor in a Total-Internal-Reflection (PC-TIR) configuration to construct a label-free imaging system, which allows for the detection of individual prostate cancer cells utilizing cellular RI as the only contrast parameter. Noncancerous prostate (BPH-1) cells and prostate cancer (PC-3) cells were mixed at varied ratios and measured concurrently. Additionally, we isolated and induced PC-3 cells to undergo epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by exposing these cells to soluble factors such as TGF-β1. The biophysical characteristics of the cellular RI were quantified extensively in comparison to non-induced PC-3 cells as well as BPH-1 cells. EMT is a crucial mechanism for the invasion and metastasis of epithelial tumors characterized by the loss of cell-cell adhesion and increased cell mobility. Our study shows promising clinical potential in utilizing the PC-TIR biosensor imaging system to not only detect prostate cancer cells, but also evaluate prostate cancer progression.
Frank DeLuna, XiaoFei Ding, Ismael Sagredo, Gilbert Bustamante, Lu-Zhe Sun, and Jing Yong Ye, "Label-free in vitro prostate cancer cell detection via photonic-crystal biosensor," Proc. SPIE 10504, Biophysics, Biology and Biophotonics III: the Crossroads, 105040D (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2018; Published: 20 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2288019.
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