Screening for canine transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) by SERS-based quantitative urine cytology

Alessia Pallaoro, Rustin Y. Mirsafavi, William T Culp, Gary B. Braun, Carl D. Meinhart, Martin Moskovits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Canine lower urinary tract neoplasia is a clinically important disease process that has high mortality due to late stage diagnosis and poorly durable response to treatment. Non-invasive diagnostic techniques (e.g. dipstick test, urine cytology) currently have poor diagnostic value, while more invasive tests (e.g. cystoscopy and biopsy) are costly and often require general anesthesia. We have developed and herein describe a quantitative cytological analysis method based on the use of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), for identifying cancerous transitional cells in urine using SERS biotags (SBTs) carrying the peptide PLZ4 (amino acid sequence cQDGRMGFc) that targets malignant transitional cells. By analyzing the ratio of the PLZ4-SBTs to an on board control we were able to show that transitional cells had significantly higher ratios (P < 0.05) in patients diagnosed with transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) than in healthy samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1279-1287
Number of pages9
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Cancer detection
  • Liquid biopsy
  • Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS)
  • Transitional cell carcinoma (TCC)
  • Urine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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