Pharma Focus Asia

World's First Metal-based Probes for Detection of Dopamine Receptors - Developed by HKBU Researchers

A team of researchers of Hong Kong Baptist University has developed the world’s first metal-based probes for the identification of dopamine receptors in living cells. This breakthrough innovation helped the researchers to understand the dopamine receptors in carcinogenesis.
Dopamine is an organic chemical of the catecholamine and phenethylamine which act as an important neurotransmitter in the central nervous system of a human body.

In the recent past, in neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease, the dopamine receptors were predominantly used. The traditional methods for detection of dopamine receptors were comparatively of high cost and were incompatible with living systems.

With the development of the new metal-based probes, it is now possible to easily identify, monitor and track the dopamine receptors present in lung cancer cells in a real-time.

These probes help in avoiding the problems related to poor photostability and photobleaching.

It also helps to illustrate the significance of dopamine receptors in the pathogenesis of cancers and also provides early detection of disease which in turn helps in increasing the survival rate of patients suffering from severe cancers such as lung cancer.

The combined research study on cell imaging of dopamine receptor using iridium (III) was executed by the professors of School of Chinese Medicine of HKBU, the City University of Hong Kong, University of Florida, USA, and Hunan University, China.

The research study revealed that the imaging colour intensity was correlated with the expression levels of dopamine receptors on cancer cells in the human body.

The metal-based probes are also considered as a powerful tool for examining the role of dopamine receptors in the pathogenesis of cancer apart from tracking the internalisation process of dopamine receptors in living cells.

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