University of Central Florida chemists, led by Professor Kevin Belfield, used near infrared light and fluorescent dye to take pictures of cells and tumors deep within tissue. The probes specifically target lysosomes, which act as cells' thermostats and waste processors and which have been linked to a variety of diseases, including types of mental illnesses and cancers.
The probes can be adapted to search for certain proteins found in tumors, which means they someday may help doctors diagnose and potentially treat tumors.
"This is a game-changer," Belfield said. "Until now, there was no real way to study lysosomes because existing techniques have severe limitations. But the probe we developed is stable, which allows for longer periods of imaging."
Current imaging probes work for only a few minutes. They cannot penetrate deep tissue, are sensitive to pH levels and have poor water solubility. Belfield's technique gets around those problems by using near infrared light. Once researchers identified the correct light frequency, they took images of lysosomes for hours.
The new approach will allow researchers to see lysosomes at work and to piece together their role in diseases such as cancer and Tay-Sachs, a genetic disorder from which children typically die by age 4.
"We've come up with something that should make a huge difference in finding answers to some very complicated conditions," Belfield said.
Belfield's findings, which include comparisons to the only two existing probes on the market today, are published in this month's Journal of the American Chemical Society, one of the most highly ranked journals in chemistry.
Belfield published three other papers this summer looking at probes that were adapted to search for proteins found in tumors. Those articles were published in Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry and the Journal of Organic Chemistry.
The National Institutes of Health's National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering funded the project.
Belfield's team is continuing its research with NIH funding. The UCF researchers are working with the Sanford-Burnham Institute for Medical Research on the tests required before clinical studies can begin.UCF Stands For Opportunity --The University of Central Florida is a metropolitan research university that ranks as the 3rd largest in the nation with 56,000 students. UCF's first classes were offered in 1968. The university offers impressive academic and research environments that power the region's economic development. UCF's culture of opportunity is driven by our diversity, Orlando environment, history of entrepreneurship and our youth, relevance and energy. For more information visit http://news.ucf.edu
Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala | EurekAlert!
Making fuel out of thick air
08.12.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
‘Spying’ on the hidden geometry of complex networks through machine intelligence
08.12.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences
11.12.2017 | Information Technology