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 Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

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: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Staying in Shape

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter

16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>