Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New dye could offer early test for Alzheimer’s

26.08.2005


MIT technique is noninvasive



MIT scientists have developed a new dye that could offer noninvasive early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, a discovery that could aid in monitoring the progression of the disease and in studying the efficacy of new treatments to stop it.
The work will be published in the Aug. 26 issue of Angewandte Chemie.

Today, doctors can only make a definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s-currently the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States-through a postmortem autopsy of the brain. "Before you can cure Alzheimer’s, you have to be able to diagnose it and monitor its progress very precisely," said Timothy Swager, leader of the work and a professor in MIT’s Department of Chemistry. "Otherwise it’s hard to know whether a new treatment is working or not."



To that end, Swager and postdoctoral associate Evgueni Nesterov, also from the MIT Department of Chemistry, worked with researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Pittsburgh to develop a contrast agent that would first bind to the protein deposits, or plaques, in the brain that cause Alzheimer’s, and then fluoresce when exposed to radiation in the near-infrared range. The new dye could allow direct imaging of Alzheimer’s plaques through a patient’s skull.

Some of the first noninvasive techniques for diagnosing Alzheimer’s involved agents labeled with radioactive elements that could enter the brain and target disease plaque for imaging with positron emission tomography (PET). However, these methods were expensive and limited by the short working lifetime of the labeled agents.

Swager and colleagues developed the new dye, called NIAD-4, through a targeted design process based on a set of specific requirements, including the ability to enter the brain rapidly upon injection, bind to amyloid plaques, absorb and fluoresce radiation in the right spectral range, and provide sharp contrast between the plaques and the surrounding tissue. The compound provided clear visual images of amyloid brain plaques in living mice with specially prepared cranial windows.

To make the technique truly noninvasive, scientists must further refine the dye so it fluoresces at a slightly longer wavelength, closer to the infrared region. Light in the near-IR range can penetrate living tissue well enough to make brain structures visible. Swager likens the effect to the translucence produced when one holds a red laser pointer against the side of a finger.

"This procedure could be done in a chamber with a photodetector and a bunch of lasers, and it would be painless," he said, adding that infrared fluorescence and other optical techniques will lead to a whole new class of noninvasive medical diagnostics. Swager says fluorescing dyes like NIAD-4 could be ready for clinical trials in the near future.

"What we have is a dye that lights up when it binds to amyloids that form in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. It’s a completely new transduction scheme-a way of translating a physical or chemical event that’s invisible to the naked eye, into a recognizable signal. Further wavelength adjustments in these dyes will allow us to perform in vivo analysis through human tissue."

The new dye was developed as part of a broader effort in sensing technology at MIT’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies. In addition to its applications as a medical diagnostic, Swager says fluorescing dyes like NIAD-4 could work as signals in a wide variety of sensing schemes.

Eve Downing | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mit.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

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: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>