The researchers at Imperial College of London are successful in developing the new nanoparticle that are effective at increasing the diagnostic efficacy of MRI scanning. The nanoparticles are supported by a special protein coating that is capable of getting activated upon physical interaction with malignant cells. The interaction removes the protein coat and nanoparticle enlarges itself to increase the visibility on the scan.
According to the latest research published in the scientific journal Angewandte Chemie, investigators used the models of mouse and cancer cells in order to compare the diagnostic efficacy of nanoparticles against some commonly used imaging agents. The study concluded that nanoparticle in MRI are capable of demonstrating a much clearer result of the tumor.
Professor Nicholas Long from the Chemistry Department of Imperial College London explained that their aim is to help the physicians in easy detection of malignant cells in order to initiate early treatment protocols.
Nicholas added that some doctors believe that MRI machines are effective at spotting the large tumors but are less effective at detecting the smaller ones. He further added that the aim of investigators is to improve the specificity as well as sensitivity of the MRI technology by adding an extra optical signal so that the nanoparticle would illuminate itself after identifying the target. Therefore it will be easy to identify tumors and will allow healthcare providers to initiate timely treatments.
Before injecting it into mice, the scientists tested the nanoparticle by adding it into saline to check if its enlargement causes any damage. It wasn’t large enough to cause harm. Dr. Juan Gallo from the Department of Surgery and Cancer said that they are looking on the size of the nanoparticle that it shouldn’t be so small or so large to be secreted before imaging or to cause damage.
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