Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Microbubbles can image blood vessel growth in tumors

16.07.2003


Imagine being able to quickly detect and diagnose blood vessel growth in cancerous tumors, and even predict how fast the tumors might metastasize or spread. Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System are doing just that in animal models using millions of tiny microbubbles injected into the bloodstream, coupled with contrast-enhanced ultrasound, an inexpensive and widely-used technique using sound waves to "see" inside the body.

Their findings are published in the July 22 edition of the journal Circulation.

"For the first time, this research shows that scientists can detect cancer using ultrasound contrast agents targeted to abnormal blood vessels that reside within tumors," said Dr. Jonathan Lindner, a U.Va. cardiologist and primary author of the study. "By assessing how much new blood vessel growth there is, we can detect tumors and metastatic spread at a very early stage."



Lindner said the one of the first signs of tumor and metastasis is a remodeling of surrounding blood vessels in the normal tissue near a tumor. The tumor activates the process of growth of new blood vessels called angiogenesis, supplying nutrients and oxygen to the tumor and keeping it alive.

To detect angiogenesis in and around a tumor, Dr. Lindner’s research group developed microbubbles targeted to the endothelial (inner) lining of new blood vessels. Microbubbles are normally about half the size of a red blood cell and are composed of a gas surrounded by a shell. They are currently being used worldwide to image blood flow and heart function in patients.

In their experiments, Lindner’s team at U.Va. attached molecules of echistatin, derived from viper venom, to the surface of each microbubble and injected the bubbles intravenously into mice with brain tumors. The echistatin molecule caused the bubbles to bind to a molecular component (an integrin) called alpha-v beta-3, which is expressed in the lining, or endothelium, of new blood vessels. After just ten minutes, the targeted microbubbles, and new blood vessels, appeared in bright colors on an ultrasound image.

"We may soon be able to assess cancer prognosis on patients using a technique like this. The more angiogenesis, the more aggressive a tumor is likely to be," Lindner said. "This microbubble technique may be able to tell people and their physicians exactly what’s likely to happen with a tumor in the future. If we know it has a certain amount of angiogenesis, then we know a tumor might be susceptible to treatment with new anti-tumor or anti-neoplastic agents developed to shrink tumors."

The U.Va. researchers were also able to use microbubbles to image capillary blood flow in tumors. They found that blood flow has a high velocity on the periphery of the tumors, but a much slower velocity inside a tumor. Blood flow velocity is a potentially important marker for tumor detection, Lindner said.

Linder and his U.Va. team first used microbubbles to detect angiogenesis in animal models, but not tumors. Their earlier findings were published in the January 28, 2003 edition of Circulation.

Bob Beard | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://circ.ahajournals.org
http://hsc.virginia.edu/news

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku

nachricht Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>