Nanoparticles cross blood-brain barrier for 'brain tumour painting'.Byline: ANI
Washington, Aug 4 (ANI): In a new research, scientists have succeeded in illuminating brain tumours Noun 1. brain tumour - a tumor in the brain
neoplasm, tumor, tumour - an abnormal new mass of tissue that serves no purpose
glioblastoma, spongioblastoma - a fast-growing malignant brain tumor composed of spongioblasts; nearly always by injecting fluorescent nanoparticles into the bloodstream blood·stream
The flow of blood through the circulatory system of an organism.
the blood flowing through the circulatory system in the living body. that safely cross the blood-brain barrier-an almost impenetrable im·pen·e·tra·ble
1. Impossible to penetrate or enter: an impenetrable fortress.
2. Impossible to understand; incomprehensible: impenetrable jargon. barrier that protects the brain from infection.
The study by University of Washington researchers revealed that the nanoparticles remained in mouse tumours for up to five days, and did not show any evidence of damaging the blood-brain barrier blood-brain barrier
n. Abbr. BBB
A physiological mechanism that alters the permeability of brain capillaries so that some substances, such as certain drugs, are prevented from entering brain tissue, while other substances are allowed to .
The results showed that the nanoparticles improved the contrast in both MRI 1. (application) MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
2. MRI - Measurement Requirements and Interface. and optical imaging, which is used during surgery.
"Brain cancers are very invasive, different from the other cancers. They will invade in·vade
v. in·vad·ed, in·vad·ing, in·vades
1. To enter by force in order to conquer or pillage.
2. the surrounding tissue and there is no clear boundary between the tumour tumour
Mass of abnormal tissue that arises from normal cells, has no useful function, and tends to grow. Cell abnormalities may include increased size or number or loss of characteristics that differentiate their tissue of origin. tissue and the normal brain tissue," said lead author Miqin Zhang, a UW professor of materials science and engineering Materials science and engineering
A multidisciplinary field concerned with the generation and application of knowledge relating to the composition, structure, and processing of materials to their properties and uses. .
Being unable to distinguish a boundary complicates the surgery, while severe cognitive problems are a common side effect.
"If we can inject these nanoparticles with infrared dye, they will increase the contrast between the tumour tissue and the normal tissue. So during the surgery, the surgeons can see the boundary more precisely. We call it 'brain tumour illumination or brain tumour painting'. The tumour will light up," said Zhang.
Further, she said that nano-imaging could also help with early cancer detection.
Current imaging techniques have a maximum resolution of 1 millimetre, and nanoparticles could improve the resolution by a factor of 10 or more, allowing detection of smaller tumours and earlier treatment.
To date, no nanoparticle used for imaging has been able to cross the blood-brain barrier and specifically bind to brain-tumour cells.
With current techniques doctors inject dyes into the body, and use drugs to temporarily open the blood-brain barrier, risking infection of the brain.
The researchers overcame the challenge by building a nanoparticle that remains small in wet conditions-the particle was about 33 nanometers in diameter when wet, about a third the size of similar particles used in other parts of the body.
Crossing the blood-brain barrier depends on the size of the particle, its lipid, or fat, content, and the electric charge on the particle.
Zhang and colleagues built a particle that can pass through the barrier and reach tumours.
To specifically target tumour cells they used chlorotoxin, a small peptide isolated from scorpion scorpion, any arachnid of the order Scorpionida with a hollow poisonous stinger at the tip of the tail. Scorpions vary from about 1/2 in. to about 6 in. (1–15 cm) long; most are from 1 to 3 in. (2.5–7.6 cm) long. venom that scientists are exploring for its tumour-targeting abilities.
On the nanoparticle's surface Zhang placed a small fluorescent molecule for optical imaging, and binding sites that could be used for attaching other molecules.
Zhang said that future research would evaluate this nanoparticle's potential for treating tumours,
Her team has already showed that chlorotoxin combined with nanoparticles dramatically slows tumours' spread.
And they will see whether that ability could extend to brain cancer, the most common solid tumour to affect children.
The study has been published in the journal Cancer Research. (ANI)
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