Peptide and protein modified metal clusters for cancer diagnostics
The biomedical features of metal clusters have been explored in tumor diagnostic applications in recent years. Peptide or protein protected metal clusters with low toxicity, ultra-small size and good biocompatibility are ideal bioanalytical tools, and exhibit better cancer diagnostic properties that have been attractive to oncologists. This perspective provides a rigorous but succinct overview of cancer diagnosis as a working concept for metal clusters by reporting the latest significant advances in the applications of metal clusters in tumor-related bioanalysis and diagnosis. The materials design principles, bioanalytical mechanisms and biomedical applications of metal clusters are described, and then the potential challenges and prospects of metal clusters in cancer diagnosis are discussed. A perspective addressing the role of metal clusters in this field is required to understand their effects and functions, as well as for the scientific community to further advance the development of metal clusters for broader diagnostic applications.