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Giving Compass' Take:
• Researchers report on a new deep-tissue imaging technique can see beneath the skin of living subjects to illuminate buried tumors with unparalleled clarity.
• How can funders work to help the research of treatments for cancer patients?
• Here's how bacteria could protect tumors from anti-cancer drugs.
In a new study, the researchers demonstrate how their technique can help predict the response of cancer patients to immunotherapy and to track their progress following treatment.
“We call this infrared vision for non-invasively peering into biological tissues,” says study leader Hongjie Dai, professor in chemistry at Stanford University.
The technique relies on nanoparticles containing the element erbium, which belongs to a class of so-called rare-earth minerals chemists prize for their unique ability to glow in the infrared.
The team covered the nanoparticles in a chemically engineered coating that helps the particles dissolve in the bloodstream and also makes them less toxic and exit the body quicker. In addition, the coating provides anchoring points for molecules that that act like guided missiles to locate and attach to specific proteins on cells.
“IT IS LIKE SEEING WHILE DRIVING ON A HIGHWAY BEFORE AND AFTER THE FOG EVAPORATES ON A WINTER DAY…”
Under a low-powered LED light, the erbium particles bask targeted tissues or even individual cells in a bright infrared glow that can be seen deeper and with finer resolution than conventional imaging techniques, the researchers say.
Read the full article on illuminating tumors by Ker Than at Futurity.