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August 20, 2007

New Nanoparticle May Detect Diseases That Have Chronic Inflamation Like Cancer, Alzheimer's, Heart Disease And Arthritis

Topics: Medicine

nanoparticle%20polymer.jpg

Image: The nanoparticle polymer is made of peroxalate esters. A fluorescent dye (pentacene) is then encapsulated into the polymer. When the nano particles bump into hydrogen peroxide, they excite the dye, which then emits photons (or light) that can be detected. (Georgia Tech)
Researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University have created a nanoparticle, a microscopic particle with at least one dimension that is less than 100 nm in size, that can not only detect trace amounts of hydrogen peroxide in animals but is also capable of taking an image.

Since H2O2 is wildly believed to be over produced by the cells in the body in the very early stages of most diseases, researchers believe that the nanoparticle, if found to be nontoxic, could be used as a diagnostic tool to enable detection of diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, heart disease and arthritis at the earliest possible stage of development when they are the easiest to treat:

The Georgia Tech and Emory nanoparticles may be the key to better understanding the role of hydrogen peroxide in the progression of many diseases and later play an important diagnostic role, Murthy said.

"These nanoparticles are incredibly sensitive so you can detect nanomolar concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. That's important because researchers aren't yet certain what amounts of hydrogen peroxide are present in various diseases," Murthy said.

The ultimate goal, however, is that the nanoparticles could some day be used as a simple, all-purpose diagnostic tool for most diseases. In the future, the nanoparticle would be injected by needle into a certain area of the body (for instance, the heart). If the nanoparticles encountered hydrogen peroxide, they would emit light. Should a doctor see a significant amount of light activity in the area, the doctor would know that the patient may be presenting early signs of a disease in that area of the body.

Continue reading: Nanoparticle Could Help Detect Many Diseases Early.

Cross posted from New Hope Blog.

Posted by Richard at August 20, 2007 7:18 PM



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