Self-assembled nano-sized probes image tumors through flesh and skin

February 8, 2005 | Source: KurzweilAI

Nano-sized particles embedded with bright, light-emitting molecules have enabled researchers to visualize a tumor more than one centimeter below the skin surface using only near-infrared light.

They used fluorescent materials called porphyrins within the surface of a polymersome, a cell-like vesicle, to image a tumor within a living rodent. It should also be possible to use an emissive polymersome vesicle to transport therapeutics directly to a tumor.

The new technology should be less costly and more accessible than MRI-based methods and free of the harmful side effects associated with radioactivity-based methods.

University of Pennsylvania news release