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Home > News > Beyond the Biopsy: A Tiny Monitor for Cancer

September 9th, 2009

Beyond the Biopsy: A Tiny Monitor for Cancer

Abstract:
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created prototypes for cancer monitors the size of a grain of rice, small enough to fit easily into the bore of a biopsy needle. Tiny coated particles inside the devices can bind with molecules linked to cancer at the site, creating minuscule clumps that can be detected by a non-invasive scan like an M.R.I., said Michael J. Cima, a professor of materials science and engineering at M.I.T. and leader of the team that created the devices.

Dr. Cima tested the tiny monitors in mice. "The devices were highly sensitive," he said. "We were able to show that in mice that had the cancer, we could detect it with the change in the M.R.I."

The magnetic nanoparticle technology used in the device was developed by Ralph Weissleder, a professor at Harvard Medical School and director of the Center for Systems Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston; he has collaborated with Dr. Cima on many projects.

Source:
nytimes.com

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