When metallic gold is reduced in size to the nanoscale, it becomes possible with weak resonant light to coherently excite large number of its conduction band electrons resulting in very intense electromagnetic fields. This intense field can decay by being either converted into heat that is used for the photo-thermal therapy of cancer or converted into strong scattered light. The strong scattered light is used for imaging of cancer cells for diagnosis. If the enhanced scattered light from particles in cancer cells is spectrally analyzed, information about molecular changes occurring within the cell during its life functions or as it dies or drug treated can be revealed. By conjugating small concentrations of gold nanoparticles to the nucleus membrane of the cancer cells we were able to record its SERS (Raman vibrations) and/or its Rayleigh scattering images in the different phases of its full cycle1, or as it dies if given cancer drugs2, and enabled us to follow the dynamics of drug delivery3 and measure the relative efficacy of different cancer drugs4,5using either Rayleigh or SERS method of detection. Finally, SERS technique was used in developing a technique that enabled us to follow the time profile of the different processes involved in the death mechanism6 of a cancer cell caused by use of a cancer drug.
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