Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

High-resolution 3D view inside breast tumors with opto-acoustic mesoscopy

27.05.2020

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. But individual tumors can vary significantly, presenting different spatial patterns within their mass. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Helmholtz Zentrum München have now succeeded in visualizing spatial changes within tumors by means of optoacoustics. This method may be helpful for the future development of new drugs.

Malignant tumors consume nutrients and oxygen faster than healthy cells. To do so, they recruit blood vessels in their environment. Depending on tumor type and genetic profile, there are differences on how tumors look internally.


Prof. Vasilis Ntziachristos demonstrates an imaging method similar to multi-spectral optoacoustic mesoscopy.

Image: M. Jooss

Typically, tumors present different patterns across their volume. The role of this spatial heterogeneity is not well understood or studied in living tumors.

Typically used to understand biological functions in tumors, optical microscopy, for example, gives limited insights into the spatial heterogeneity of tumors as it only accesses volumes of less than a cubic millimeter.

High resolution with new imaging method

A new technique developed by Munich researchers, known as multi-spectral optoacoustic mesoscopy (MSOM), has now been shown capable of resolving optical contrast through tumor volumes that are at least 1,000 times larger than those possible with optical microscopy, enabling high-resolution visualization of tumor heterogeneity patterns.

With this imaging method, the tumor is first excited from all sides with pulses of infrared laser light. “Tumor and tissue components that absorb this excitation light undergo a tiny, transient temperature increase, which leads to a small local volume expansion, followed by a contraction. This expansion and contraction process generates a weak ultrasound signal, which we collect with a detector,” says guest researcher Dr. Jiao Li.

The data collected is mathematically processed to form light absorption images which indicate different tumor patterns reflecting tumor oxygenation and vascularization. “For the first time, MSOM offers optical images that reach inside tumors to depths of ten millimeters and more with a resolution of less than 50 micrometers,” says Dr. Li.

Understanding functional variety in tumors

“MSOM imaging of solid tumors allowed us to see tumors in a new light,” says Prof. Vasilis Ntziachristos, holder of the Chair of Biological Imaging at TUM and Director of the Institute for Biological and Medical Imaging at Helmholtz Zentrum München. “MSOM allows us to understand how tumor functionality varies across the tumor, clearly moving the reach of optical observations well beyond the depth penetration limitations of optical microscopy”.

In the pictures taken from mamma carcinomas of mice, researchers can see patterns indicating the presence or absence of blood vessels, and thus study blood supply patterns. MSOM can also resolve hemoglobin levels, and indicate whether oxygen is bound to hemoglobin or not. Furthermore, MSOM images were used to determine permeability of the vessel walls relative to nanoparticles. Using the mouse model, the scientists were already able to track how tiny gold particles were transported.

3D tumor pictures without surgical biopsy

In contrast to conventional histology, where tissue has to be removed, cut up and examined under the microscope by a pathologist, MSOM allows a three-dimensional analysis of entire living tumors without the need for surgical biopsies. This further supports longitudinal studies so that tumor growth or recession under different drugs can be studied with greater accuracy. All of which paves the way for an improved understanding of biological function and drug efficacy during drug development for humans.

More information:

The research work was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the European Research Council (ERC) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Prof. Dr. Vasilis Ntziachristos
Technical University of Munich
Chair of Biological Imaging
Phone: +49 89 4140 7211
v.ntziachristos@tum.de

Originalpublikation:

J. Li, A. Chekkoury, J. Prakash, S. Glasl, P. Vetschera, B. Koberstein-Schwarz, I. Olefir, V. Gujrati, M. Omar, V. Ntziachristos: Spatial heterogeneity of oxygenation and hemodynamics in breast cancer resolved in vivo by conical multispectral optoacoustic mesoscopy. Light Sci Appl 9, 57 (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41377-020-0295-y

Dr. Ulrich Marsch | Technische Universität München
Further information:
https://www.tum.de/nc/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36044/

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht First COVID-19 Patient in Germany successfully treated with novel Diaphragm Therapy
10.07.2020 | Universität Greifswald

nachricht Restoring Vision Through Electrical Stimulation
09.07.2020 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The spin state story: Observation of the quantum spin liquid state in novel material

New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices

Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...

Im Focus: Excitation of robust materials

Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class

In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

X-ray scattering shines light on protein folding

10.07.2020 | Life Sciences

Looking at linkers helps to join the dots

10.07.2020 | Materials Sciences

Surprisingly many peculiar long introns found in brain genes

10.07.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>