Issue Date: February 2, 2015
Nanoparticles For Imaging Six Ways To Sunday
Doctors often face an unpleasant optimization problem: How do they minimize the number of needlesticks and injections while maximizing the benefit to a patient’s health? Engineered nanoparticles could simplify that calculus for medical diagnostics. An international research team led by Jonathan F. Lovell of the University at Buffalo, SUNY, has developed particles that can be delivered with a single injection and respond to at least six complementary imaging modes (Adv. Mater. 2015, DOI: 10.1002/adma.201404739). The team started with core-shell nanoparticles that absorb multiple photons of long-wavelength light and emit shorter wavelengths. This upconversion luminescence can be used for imaging with infrared light, but the particles are also rich in metals that interact with the X-rays used in CT scans. The researchers then coated the particles with porphyrin-conjugated phospholipids they developed to add fluorescent and photoacoustic techniques to the imaging toolbox. They also labeled the coating with 64Cu for PET scans and Cerenkov luminescence imaging. Lovell says the next step is demonstrating the diagnostic power of these particles in early cancer detection, for instance. But he also hopes such studies will inspire instrument makers to develop single “hyperimaging” tools to capitalize on all of a nanoparticle’s capabilities.
- Chemical & Engineering News
- ISSN 0009-2347
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