Nanoparticle-Based Imaging of Metastasis Throughout Body

December 20, 2017  Source: medgadget 187

Common radiological tumor detection technique these days is done using contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which can only detect tumors of a certain size or larger. This is a major limitation, as it leaves patients with smaller tumors that grow and spread undetected, preventing early treatment of many cancers. Researchers at Rutgers University have just reported in journal Nature Biomedical Engineering on a new, nanoparticle technique of spotting and imaging of very small tumors simultaneously throughout different organs of the body.

The team developed rare-earth-doped albumin-encapsulated nanoparticles that emit short-wave infrared light that can be detected outside the body, at least of a mouse. These nanoparticle probes were attached to antibodies that target specific breast cancer cells and injected into mice in which the same breast cancer type has already metastasized. Using special light detectors they were able to spot the tumors by seeing the short-wave infrared light coming from the nanoprobes as they traveled to the different tumor sites.

“Cancer cells can lodge in different niches in the body, and the probe follows the spreading cells wherever they go,” said Vidya Ganapathy, one of the Rutgers researchers on the study. “You can treat the tumors intelligently because now you know the address of the cancer.”

By Ddu