Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

Using ‘nanojuice’ to examine the gut

By Tim Sandle     Jul 8, 2014 in Science
Scientists are developing a new imaging technique involving nanoparticles suspended in liquid to form “nanojuice” that patients would drink.
The scientists are based at University at Buffalo and their initial trials are promising, according to Gizmag. With the nanojuice, on reaching the small intestine, doctors are able to strike the nanoparticles with a harmless laser light, providing a non-invasive, real-time view of the organ. The images are said to be superior to those produced from X-rays, MRIs, or ultrasound images.
The nanojuice uses special dyes called naphthalcyanines. To make these more effective, the scientists formed nanoparticles called “nanonaps” that contain the colorful dye molecules and added the abilities to disperse in liquid and move safely through the intestine.
According to the lead researcher, Jonathan Lovell, PhD, UB assistant professor of biomedical engineering: “Conventional imaging methods show the organ and blockages, but this method allows you to see how the small intestine operates in real time. Better imaging will improve our understanding of these diseases and allow doctors to more effectively care for people suffering from them.”
In laboratory experiments performed with mice, the researchers administered the nanojuice orally. They then used photoacoustic tomography, which is pulsed laser lights that generate pressure waves that, when measured, provide a real-time and more nuanced view of the small intestine. The next step is to move onto human trials.
The nanojuice has been presented in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The paper is titled “Non-invasive multimodal functional imaging of the intestine with frozen micellar naphthalocyanines.”
More about Nanotechnology, Gut, digestion, Xray
More news from