Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


MCG students discover medicinal role for pancake mix


Chicken liver may seem like an odd component of a medical procedure, but for thousands of patients over the past generation, the cuisine has been doctor’s orders to help diagnose gastrointestinal disorders.

Perhaps not for much longer, though, based on the results of a recent Medical College of Georgia School of Allied Health Sciences student project.

Micah Grant, Woldeab Medhin and Aaron Scott, juniors in the School of Allied Health Sciences’ nuclear medicine technology program, recently were assigned to review and compile scientific data in their field, in which health practitioners use radioactive pharmaceuticals to help assess organ function and diagnose disease. But the students wanted to go a step further and actually contribute to the literature.

The students knew just what their starting point would be: chicken liver.

"To diagnose digestion-related disorders, a radioactive tracer called Tc99m sulfer colloid is injected into chicken liver and fed to the patient," said Mr. Scott, who along with Mr. Grant and Mr. Medhin is earning MCG certification in nuclear medicine technology via distance-learning at the Gwinnett University Center in Lawrenceville, Ga. The tracer goes to the target organ and can then be imaged with a Gamma camera, which takes pictures of the radiation photons emitted by the tracer.

Chicken liver is the delivery agent of choice because its proteins bind with sulfer colloid at a rate of about 92 percent. The radioactive tracer then provides clear pictures of the organ or organs being assessed.

"The problem is that the ’delicacy’ isn’t palatable to many people even under the best of circumstances, and many individuals observe cultural practices that make chicken liver an impossible choice," said Mary Anne Owen, program director of nuclear medicine technology. "The option for a palatable, diagnostically accurate vegetarian meal is a much-needed alternative."

Options such as grits and oatmeal have been used, but with much less reliable results because their binding rate is so much lower, Mr. Scott said. He and his classmates rose to the challenge when an Emory University radiologist, Dr. Rahguueer Halkar, asked them to help him find a vegetarian food with a high-enough binding rate to use it as a reliable substitute for chicken liver.

The students knew they were looking for a food high in protein, but other than that, they anticipated a largely trial-and-error search. Incredibly, they found what they were looking for on their first try.

"We thought we might actually have to develop a product, but we found what we were looking for right on the grocery store shelf," Mr. Scott said.

The product, Carborite Pancake Mix by the company, Carbolite, produces soy-based pancakes when mixed with water.

"We followed the product directions, then mixed it with sulfer colloid and made the pancakes on the griddle," said Mr. Scott. "Sulfer colloid is tasteless, odorless and colorless, so it doesn’t affect the taste of the pancake."

But does it bind effectively enough to produce clear images of organs? Yes.

"We found that the binding rate is 97 to 98 percent--higher than that of chicken liver," Mr. Scott said. He will present the findings at the Southeast Chapter of the Society of Nuclear Medicine annual meeting Sept. 9-12 in Clearwater, Fla. He and his classmates also plan to test their product on volunteer gastric patients, using the pancake for the first test, then repeating the test two days later with chicken liver and comparing the results.

"This better, and better-tasting, alternative could have global implications," Mr. Scott said.

Ms. Owen said the project reflects not only the students’ initiative but the importance of the department’s emphasis on research. "MCG’s undergraduate nuclear medicine technology program matches students with mentors from MCG and Emory University, adding a much-needed research component not generally available within the entry-level nuclear medicine curriculum," she said. "This is a wonderful example of our students taking full advantage of the resources we make available and actually improving patient care in the process."

Christine Hurley Deriso | EurekAlert!
Further information:

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: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>