The National Institutes of Health have awarded a $4 million grant to GE Global Research for further development of the company’s prototype fluorescent nerve labeling agent and imaging system. GE hopes the system will help surgeons prevent damage to nerve endings during prostate surgery by making the nerves more easily visible.
From the press release:
GE’s nerve labeling agent, developed by a team of biologists and chemists in the Research Center’s Biosciences labs, is a fluorescent small molecule that localizes to myelin. Myelin is a major component of motor nerves and clinically important sensory nerves, such as the cavernous nerves of the prostate. This agent then fluoresces, or lights up under an optical imaging system developed in tandem by a group of biomedical engineers in GE’s Research labs.
Image: The nerve glows reddish-orange with GE’s fluorescent labeling agent. The imaging agent exhibits some partitioning to fat tissue, where it glows with a greenish color. Note that the surrounding tissue, such as muscle, is dark. The image above is captured using a fluorescent imaging system with a colored camera.
Press release: GE Awarded $4 Million Grant from National Institutes of Health to Develop Fluorescent Nerve Imaging Agent and Surgical System….