Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The world’s first vertical nanobeam to enable cancer care to be individualised for the patient

12.06.2006
The University of Surrey Ion Beam Centre (IBC) in collaboration with the Gray Cancer Institute is working on a £1.2M project which is underpinned by a prestigious grant of £800k from the Wolfson Foundation. The funding will be used to build the world’s first vertical scanning focussed nanobeam which will be used to analyse how radiation affects living cells. Radiation therapy is second only to surgery as a cure for cancer in the UK and so this research has a large potential impact on patient survival and quality of life. The new beam line will also be used to look at the processes which may lead to cancer and the risks associated with low level exposure to radiation (e.g. in structures built on or out of granite).

The new nanobeam at the IBC will be able to provide data about the radiation sensitivity of tumours. Some tumours are known to be normally radiation resistant, but display hyper-sensitivity to very low doses. This means that a very small dose of radiation can have a much larger than expected effect in terms of destroying the tumour. To help clinicians test these theories, data from the IBC will be used to the construct virtual tumours. These virtual tumours can then be used to test the efficacy of different treatment strategies.

The Ion Beam Centre already houses one of the World’s largest and most advanced facilities. In the new nanobeam, the ions will be shot into the target at about one tenth the speed of light (70,000,000 mph). In addition to helping understand the way in which radiation affects living cells, these ions can also be used to map the elemental structure of the sample in three dimensions. This is done by analysing the radiation they give off as they pass through the sample and the way in which some of them bounce back while others pass through. By carrying out all these types of analyses simultaneously a three dimensional elemental picture of the sample is constructed. Until now the IBC has been unable to analyse liquids. This is because of gravity which means that liquid samples have to be held perfectly horizontal while the analysis takes place. With a vertical beam it is therefore possible to directly analyse liquids. As human cells and indeed the entire human body is ~70% water, this means that the IBC will be able to analyse cells and see, for instance, the interaction between chemotherapeutic drugs and radiation.

Research on non liquid samples using the IBC’s horizontal beam lines has already answered questions such as: what is the composition of paints in 16th century paintings? What is in the particulate matter that comes out of volcanoes? What are the metal atoms in proteins and how many are there? How do parasitic wasps lay their eggs? And what makes 1920’s German bank notes toxic?

The new vertical nanobeam will also have many other applications including chemistry at the atomic scale, the creation of novel materials and nanostructures and other, as yet unknown procedures.

Stuart Miller | alfa
Further information:
http://www.surrey.ac.uk

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Visualizing gene expression with MRI
23.12.2016 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Illuminating cancer: Researchers invent a pH threshold sensor to improve cancer surgery
21.12.2016 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>