Researchers are testing a new nanoparticle that targets melanoma and highlights cancerous tissue, reports Technology Review's Katherine Bourzac. The nanotherapeutic agent, which has been under development for more than 10 years, maps the spread of melanoma through the body, and researchers hope it can provide a way to treat the disease in a more targeted way. The nanoparticles, developed by Cornell's Ulrich Wiesner, addresses two clinical needs — finding melanoma wherever it goes in the body and working as an "optical imaging agent" to visualize lymph nodes, according to researchers. The nanoparticle itself consists of an organic dye molecule that emits infrared light surrounded by a silica sphere about eight nanometers in diameter, Bourzac says. It's then coated with a biocompatible polymer that allows it to remain intact while in the body. The particles are treated with radioactive iodine to make them visible on PET scans, she adds.
Are You Being Followed?
Feb 24, 2011