Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Multifunctional nanoparticle enables new type of biological imaging

The 30-nanometer particle combines a magnetic core with a thin gold shell, analogous to an eggshell, that surrounds but does not touch the core. Credit: Xiaohu Gao, University of Washington
The 30-nanometer particle combines a magnetic core with a thin gold shell, analogous to an eggshell, that surrounds but does not touch the core. Credit: Xiaohu Gao, University of Washington

Abstract:
Spotting a single cancerous cell that has broken free from a tumor and is traveling through the bloodstream to colonize a new organ might seem like finding a needle in a haystack. But a new imaging technique from the University of Washington is a first step toward making this possible.

By Hannah Hickey

Multifunctional nanoparticle enables new type of biological imaging

Seattle, WA | Posted on July 28th, 2010

UW researchers have developed a multifunctional nanoparticle that eliminates the background noise, enabling a more precise form of medical imaging -- essentially erasing the haystack, so the needle shines through. A successful demonstration with photoacoustic imaging was reported today (July 27) in the journal Nature Communications.

Nanoparticles are promising contrast agents for ultrasensitive medical imaging. But in all techniques that do not use radioactive tracers, the surrounding tissues tend to overwhelm weak signals, preventing researchers from detecting just one or a few cells.

"Although the tissues are not nearly as effective at generating a signal as the contrast agent, the quantity of the tissue is much greater than the quantity of the contrast agent and so the background signal is very high," said lead author Xiaohu Gao, a UW assistant professor of bioengineering.

The newly presented nanoparticle solves this problem by for the first time combining two properties to create an image that is different from what any existing technique could have produced.

The new particle combines magnetic properties and photoacoustic imaging to erase the background noise. Researchers used a pulsing magnetic field to shake the nanoparticles by their magnetic cores. Then they took a photoacoustic image and used image processing techniques to remove everything except the vibrating pixels.

Gao compares the new technique to "Tourist Remover" photo editing software that allows a photographer to delete other people by combining several photos of the same scene and keeping only the parts of the image that aren't moving.

"We are using a very similar strategy," Gao said. "Instead of keeping the stationary parts, we only keep the moving part.

"We use an external magnetic field to shake the particles," he explained. "Then there's only one type of particle that will shake at the frequency of our magnetic field, which is our own particle."

Experiments with synthetic tissue showed the technique can almost completely suppress a strong background signal. Future work will try to duplicate the results in lab animals, Gao said.

The 30-nanometer particle consists of an iron-oxide magnetic core with a thin gold shell that surrounds but does not touch the center. The gold shell is used to absorb infrared light, and could also be used for optical imaging, delivering heat therapy, or attaching a biomolecule that would grab on to specific cells.

Earlier work by Gao's group combined functions in a single nanoparticle, something that is difficult because of the small size.

"In nanoparticles, one plus one is often less than two," Gao said. "Our previous work showed that one plus one can be equal to two. This paper shows that one plus one is, finally, greater than two."

The first biological imaging, in the 1950s, was used to identify anatomy inside the body, detecting tumors or fetuses. The second generation has been used to monitor function -- fMRI, or functional magnetic resonance imaging, for example, detects oxygen use in the brain to produce a picture of brain activity. The next generation of imaging will be molecular imaging, said co-author Matthew O'Donnell, a UW professor of bioengineering and engineering dean.

This will mean that medical assays and cell counts can be done inside the body. In other words, instead of taking a biopsy and inspecting tissue under a microscope, imaging could detect specific proteins or abnormal activity at the source.

But making this happen means improving the confidence limits of the imaging.

"Today, we can use biomarkers to see where there's a large collection of diseased cells," O'Donnell said. "This new technique could get you down to a very precise level, potentially of a single cell."

Researchers tested the method for photoacoustic imaging, a low-cost method now being developed that is sensitive to slight variations in tissues' properties and can penetrate several centimeters in soft tissue. It works by using a pulse of laser light to heat a cell very slightly. This heat causes the cell to vibrate and produce ultrasound waves that travel through the tissue to the body's surface. The new technique should also apply to other types of imaging, the authors said.

Co-authors are UW postdoctoral researchers Yongdong Jin and Sheng-Wen Huang and University of Michigan doctoral student Congxian Jia.

Research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the UW Department of Bioengineering.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Xiaohu Gao
206-543-6562


Matthew O'Donnell
206-543-1829


Hannah Hickey

Copyright © University of Washington

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

NanoTechnology for Defense (NT4D) October 22nd, 2014

Mechanism behind nature's sparkles revealed October 22nd, 2014

TARA Biosystems and Harris & Harris Group Form Company to Improve Safety and Efficacy of New Therapies October 22nd, 2014

Researchers patent a nanofluid that improves heat conductivity October 22nd, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Brookhaven Lab Launches Computational Science Initiative:Leveraging computational science expertise and investments across the Laboratory to tackle "big data" challenges October 22nd, 2014

Bipolar Disorder Discovery at the Nano Level: Tiny structures found in brain synapses help scientists better understand disorder October 22nd, 2014

NIST offers electronics industry 2 ways to snoop on self-organizing molecules October 22nd, 2014

Super stable garnet ceramics may be ideal for high-energy lithium batteries October 21st, 2014

Possible Futures

Imaging electric charge propagating along microbial nanowires October 20th, 2014

Superconducting circuits, simplified: New circuit design could unlock the power of experimental superconducting computer chips October 18th, 2014

Nanocoatings Market By Product Is Expected To Reach USD 8.17 Billion By 2020: Grand View Research, Inc. October 15th, 2014

Perpetuus Carbon Group Receives Independent Verification of its Production Capacity for Graphenes at 140 Tonnes per Annum: Perpetuus Becomes the First Manufacturer in the Sector to Allow Third Party Audit October 7th, 2014

Academic/Education

First Canada Excellence Research Chair gets $10 million from the federal government for oilsands research at the University of Calgary: Federal government announces prestigious research chair to study improving oil production efficiency October 19th, 2014

Raytheon, UMass Lowell open on-campus research institute: Industry leader’s researchers to collaborate with faculty, students to move key technologies forward through first-of-its-kind partnership October 11th, 2014

SUNY Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Announce Expanded Partnership October 2nd, 2014

Yale University and Leica Microsystems Partner to Establish Microscopy Center of Excellence: Yale Welcomes Scientists to Participate in Core Facility Opening and Super- Resolution Workshops October 20 Through 31, 2014 September 30th, 2014

Nanomedicine

Bipolar Disorder Discovery at the Nano Level: Tiny structures found in brain synapses help scientists better understand disorder October 22nd, 2014

Journal Nanotechnology Progress International (JONPI), 2014, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 1-24 October 22nd, 2014

TARA Biosystems and Harris & Harris Group Form Company to Improve Safety and Efficacy of New Therapies October 22nd, 2014

‘Designer’ nanodevice could improve treatment options for cancer sufferers October 22nd, 2014

Announcements

NanoTechnology for Defense (NT4D) October 22nd, 2014

Mechanism behind nature's sparkles revealed October 22nd, 2014

TARA Biosystems and Harris & Harris Group Form Company to Improve Safety and Efficacy of New Therapies October 22nd, 2014

Researchers patent a nanofluid that improves heat conductivity October 22nd, 2014

Tools

NIST offers electronics industry 2 ways to snoop on self-organizing molecules October 22nd, 2014

Special UO microscope captures defects in nanotubes: University of Oregon chemists provide a detailed view of traps that disrupt energy flow, possibly pointing toward improved charge-carrying devices October 21st, 2014

Super stable garnet ceramics may be ideal for high-energy lithium batteries October 21st, 2014

Detecting Cancer Earlier is Goal of Rutgers-Developed Medical Imaging Technology: Rare earth nanocrystals and infrared light can reveal small cancerous tumors and cardiovascular lesions October 21st, 2014

Research partnerships

Brookhaven Lab Launches Computational Science Initiative:Leveraging computational science expertise and investments across the Laboratory to tackle "big data" challenges October 22nd, 2014

Detecting Cancer Earlier is Goal of Rutgers-Developed Medical Imaging Technology: Rare earth nanocrystals and infrared light can reveal small cancerous tumors and cardiovascular lesions October 21st, 2014

Nitrogen Doped Graphene Characterized by Iranian, Russian, German Scientists October 21st, 2014

Crystallizing the DNA nanotechnology dream: Scientists have designed the first large DNA crystals with precisely prescribed depths and complex 3D features, which could create revolutionary nanodevices October 20th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE





  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE