New Medical Imaging Technique is Studied

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., April 15 (UPI) — Purdue University scientists say an experimental ultra-sensitive medical imaging technique might lead to both earlier disease detection and treatment.

The technology uses a pulsed laser and tiny, hollow, metallic “nanocages,” by shining near-infrared laser pulses through the skin to detect the nanocages and solid nanoparticles made of an alloy of gold and silver that are injected into the bloodstream.

The researchers said the procedure, unlike previous approaches, does not cause heat damage to tissue being imaged and does not produce a background “auto fluorescent” glow of surrounding tissues.

“This lack of background fluorescence makes the images much more clear and is very important for disease detection,” said Associate Professor Ji-Xin Cheng. “It allows us to clearly identify the nanocages and the tissues.”

Professor Younan Xia at Washington University in St. Louis, whose team fabricated the nanocages and nanoparticles used in the study, said the improved performance could make possible earlier detection and treatment of cancer and also might be used to deliver time-released anti-cancer drugs to diseased tissue.

The research that included Ling Tong, Claire Cobley and Assistant Professor Jingyi Chen appeared in the April 6 online early issue of the journal Angewandte Chemie’s international edition.

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