Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tiny particles may help surgeons by marking brain tumors

30.04.2010
Researchers have developed a way to enhance how brain tumors appear in MRI scans and during surgery, making the tumors easier for surgeons to identify and remove.

Scientists at Ohio State University are experimenting with different nanoparticles that they hope may one day be injected into the blood of patients and help surgeons remove lethal brain tumors known as glioblastomas.

In the journal Nanotechnology, researchers reported that they have manufactured a small particle called a nanocomposite that is both magnetic and fluorescent. These nanocomposites measure less than twenty nanometers in size (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter). One sheet of paper, for example, is about 100,000 nanometers thick.

"Our strategy is combining two particles that contain different properties to make one particle with multiple properties," explained Jessica Winter, assistant professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering and biomedical engineering at Ohio State.

The magnetic nanoparticles emphasize color contrasts within MRIs, allowing doctors to see potential or existing cancerous tumors before surgery. The fluorescent nanoparticles can change the color that the tumor appears in the brain when seen under a special light.

Neurological surgeons could benefit from a multi-functional particle that would allow them to better see the tumor with an MRI before surgery, and then see it physically during surgery, Winter said.

"We're trying to develop a single nanocomposite that's magnetic – so you can do preoperative MRI – and that's fluorescent – so that when neurological surgeons go into surgery, they can shine a light on the tumor and it will glow a specific color such as green, for example. Then, the surgeon can simply remove all of the green," Winter said.

"With traditional magnetic contrasting agents, you'll get an MRI, but you won't see anything during surgery," she added.

Winter's study provided convincing proof that a particle with dual properties can be formed. However, these multi-functional particles can't be used for animal or human testing because the fluorescent particle, cadmium telluride, is toxic.

"We're currently working on an alternative fluorescent particle which is composed of carbon. This will eliminate the complications that arise with ingesting the cadmium telluride particles," Winter said.

Patients with a specific form of deadly brain tumor, glioblastoma, could benefit from Winter's work. Glioblastomas are usually located in the temporal, or frontal lobe of the brain, and tumors located there are difficult to see and remove.

Combining the two particles could provide doctors with help both before and during the surgery to remove a brain tumor, Winter said.

One of the successes in creating the new nanocomposite particle was how they did it, Winter said. It is normally difficult to combine particles like these, a process known as doping.

The Ohio State researchers pursued an approach which had not been attempted before. They chose to bind their fluorescent particle on top of their magnetic particle at extremely high temperatures.

The key is that our synthesis is done at pretty high temperatures – about 350 degrees Celsius (around 660 degrees Fahrenheit)," Winter explained. "The synthesis was unexpected, but cool at the same time, and we were excited when we saw what we got."

The primary neurological surgeon that collaborates with Winter and her team, an assistant professor with the Department of Neurological Surgery, Atom Sarkar, hopes to test the approach on animals at some point. But first they have to produce a particle that contains no toxic ingredients. If results continue to be encouraging, Winter is optimistic that similar multifunctional particles could become an innovative part of neurological surgery within the next five years.

Others involved with Winter on this research were two of her post doctoral students, Shuang Deng and Gang Ruan, and one of her graduate students, Ning Han. Shuang has recently left and now holds a faculty position in China.

The researchers received funding from the National Science Foundation.

Jessica Winter | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.osu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New method to rapidly map the 'social networks' of proteins
27.06.2017 | Salk Institute

nachricht X-ray experiments reveal two different types of water
27.06.2017 | Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Collapse of the European ice sheet caused chaos

27.06.2017 | Earth Sciences

NASA sees quick development of Hurricane Dora

27.06.2017 | Earth Sciences

New method to rapidly map the 'social networks' of proteins

27.06.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>