Nanoprobe to be developed for a ‘Fantastic Voyage’ in the human body, finding and treating deadly tumors

May 12, 2003 | Source: Today@UCI

A UC Irvine research team has received a five-year, $2.9 million National Institutes of Health grant to develop a microscopic probe for detecting and treating pre-cancerous and malignant tumors in humans.

Similar to the miniaturized vessel that explores a human body in the science fiction movie “Fantastic Voyage,” the probe would be inserted into a patient and then guided through the esophagus, stomach and colon to determine if tumors are growing on the wall of the intestine. It would be remotely controlled by a surgeon operating an endoscope.

To view a tumor, the probe uses optical coherence tomography, which can create a visual impression of tissue structure and blood flow with a sharpness not possible using current scanning methods.