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Researchers Propose SERS to Diagnose the Radiation Caused Injury In Mice
A Chinese study team demonstrated a sensitive approach based on surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) that could be used for diagnostics of acute radiation injury at the earliest time in both animals and human beings with exposure to ionizing radiations.

This work was done by HUANG Qing and his team in laboratory of irradiation apparatus and physical biology of the institute.

Exposure to massive radiation definitely cause serious threats to human life. Although considerable advancements in dosimetry have been established, the present methods are normally limited to the cases of slow manifestation of the radiation symptoms and may have some constraints in applications. Therefore, there is a critical necessity to develop a convenient method capable of providing easy medical interceding and quick evaluation of the biological damages immediately after the radiation exposure.

In HUANG’s study, a sensitive approach based on surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has been developed to evaluate the radiation caused biological injury.

To achieve the effective SERS substrate, canonical anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) templates with regular array of nanotips were fabricated, and by plasma sputtering the gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs) were distributed on the nanotips to form the Au-NPs array with plenty of hotspots. The SERS substrates were utilized to examine the serum samples taken from the mice with the treatment of total body irradiation (TBI) of X-ray.

Through the study, HUANG’s group has found that the Raman intensity at 532 cm-1 increased as a function of duration or dose of TBI which belonged to the myoglobin as a biomarker for the muscle damage due to the radiation caused injury.

In addition, the practical applicability of this method was also verified in human biological fluids. The examination of seven human blood, and urine samples was performed out of which five samples were obtained from the cancer patients suffering from different cancers who were treated with radiotherapy using X-ray radiation.
The blood and urine from a normal individual and another cancer patient who was not treated with radiation were also collected and examined as controls.

Previously, HUANG’s group found that the radiation exposure indeed damaged muscle tissues so that more myoglobin was released as a result of rhabdomyolysis after radiotherapy.

HUANG’s work demonstrates a promising method that may be useful for diagnostics of acute radiation injury at the earliest time in the animals and human beings exposed to ionizing radiations by analyzing their serum and urine samples.

The work was supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China and the China Scholarship Council.

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