Light meets Gold

International Year of Light Blog

During the last decade oncological diseases have spread enormously. According to the statistics of World Health Organization, cancer takes second place in the list of leading lethal diseases. The first place goes to cardiovascular diseases. Only in 2008 more than 7.6 million people died from cancer worldwide. In order to improve survival factors, early diagnostics and effective therapy is a necessity.

Fluorescence imaging is a sensitive and quantitative method that is widely used for observing cells and cell processes in vivo, also for noninvasive tissue imaging, which is a promising tool for cancer diagnostics. Unfortunately, the sensitivity of fluorescence imaging is limited due to characteristics of fluorescent agents applied. In biological studies most commonly used fluorophores are organic dyes and semiconductor quantum dots. Currently another type of imaging agents has been shown to have a particularly great promise in bioimaging – fluorescent gold nanoclusters. Being composed of non-toxic elements…

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