The Engineer out of UK is reporting on a new Stanford University technique, recently published in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, in which scientists created intavenous injectable gas-filled “microbubbles” that could be detected by standard ultrasound devices deep within the body. Because these contrast agents were developed to target a common cancer marker, the technique may allow the development of next generation imaging technologies for early screening for a variety of cancers.
The Engineer explains:
The microbubbles, which were paired with a new peptide (a molecule that consists of a chain of amino acids) were designed to travel through the vascular system and attach to integrin — a well-characterised molecular marker that acts as a ‘red flag’ for tumour vessel growth, or angiogenesis.
Once the gas-filled microbubbles seek out the cancers and attach to their vessel walls, they send out signals that are picked up by standard clinical ultrasound scanners.
Read on at The Engineer: Non-invasive cancer detection
Abstract in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine: Targeted Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Imaging of Tumor Angiogenesis with Contrast Microbubbles Conjugated to Integrin-Binding Knottin Peptides
Image credit: ntr23