Plasma enabled devices for the selective capture and photodynamic identification of prostate cancer cells

Hanieh Safizadeh Shirazi, Kit Man Chan, Julien Rouget, Kola Ostrikov, Kym McNicholas, Jordan Li, Lisa Butler, Jonathan M. Gleadle, Krasimir Vasilev, Melanie MacGregor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men and the second leading cause of male cancer deaths. The current blood test for detecting prostate cancers measures prostate-specific antigen. It has many limitations including a very high rate of false positives. Herein, prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) based immunocapture and hexaminolevulinate (HAL) based photodetection are integrated into a new diagnostic device designed to selectively identify whole prostate cancer cells from voided urine with the aim of providing an accurate noninvasive alternative to current diagnosis methods. Prestained, prostate cancer cells spiked in urine samples at concentrations ranging from 1500 to 2000 cells/ml were captured with 89% sensitivity and 95% specificity. HAL, a cancer specific photosensitizer, was then used to circumvent the need for prestaining. Optimum HAL incubation conditions were identified (50 μM at 37 °C for 2 h) where the mean HAL-induced fluorescence intensity of LNCaP cells was three times that of healthy PNT2 cells, thus providing an independent way to discriminate captured cancer cells from background metabolites. Combining anti-PSMA immunocapture with HAL-induced fluorescent detection, 86% sensitivity and 88% selectivity were achieved, thereby proving the validity of the dual-method for the selective photospecific detection of prostate cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number031002
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2020


  • Prostate cancer
  • photodynamic diagnosis
  • prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)
  • plasma enabled devices


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