We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
BIO-RAD LABORATORIES

Download Mobile App




Nanoparticle Carries Imaging and Medicinal Components

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 11 Sep 2008
Print article
Ultra-miniature bialy-shaped particles--called nanobialys because they resemble tiny versions of the flat, onion-topped rolls popular in New York City--could soon be carrying medicinal compounds through patients' bloodstreams to fight tumors or atherosclerotic plaques.

The nanobialys are an important addition to the range of diagnostic and disease-fighting nanoparticles developed by researchers from the Consortium for Translational Research in Advanced Imaging and Nanomedicine (C-TRAIN) at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (MO, USA). C-TRAIN's "smart” nanoparticles can deliver drugs and imaging agents directly to the site of tumors and plaques.

The nanobialys were not engineered for their appealing shape--that is a natural result of the manufacturing process. The particles answered a need for an alternative to the investigators gadolinium-containing nanoparticles, which were created for their high visibility in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

Gadolinium is a common contrast agent for MRI scans, but recent studies have shown that it can be harmful to some patients with severe kidney disease. "The nanobialys contain manganese instead of gadolinium,” said first author Dipanjan Pan, Ph.D., research instructor in medicine in the cardiovascular division. "Manganese is an element found naturally in the body. In addition, the manganese in the nanobialys is tied up so it stays with the particles, making them very safe.”

The majority of a nanobialy is a synthetic polymer that can accept a host of medical, imaging, or targeting components. In the July 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), the researchers reported that targeted manganese-carrying nanobialys promptly attached themselves to fibrin molecules, which are found in atherosclerotic plaques and blood clots. Laboratory-made clots then glowed brightly in MRI scans. The researchers also demonstrated that the nanobialys could carry both water-soluble and insoluble drugs.

Dr. Pan, who is a research instructor in medicine, played a leading role in the creation of nanobialys and chose the particles' name. "When we looked at the particles with an electron microscope, we saw they are round and flat, with a dimple in the center, like red blood cells, but also a little irregular, like bagels,” he commented. "I came across the word bialy, which is a Polish roll like a bagel without a hole that can be made with different toppings. So I called the particles nanobialys.”

Nanoparticles can be a more effective way to administer medications and imaging contrast agents because they are targeted, packaged units--drugs and imaging agents remain on the nanoparticles, which can be made to concentrate at a specific site in the body. In animal studies, the research group has shown that their original, spherical nanoparticles can carry therapeutic compounds to tumors and atherosclerotic plaques. These nanoparticles also can hold thousands of molecules of gadolinium, which allows the researchers to use conventional MRI scanning equipment to see where the nanoparticles congregate. The scans can then detect the size of lesions as well as the effect of drugs delivered by the nanoparticles.

However, gadolinium has recently been linked to nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF). First described in 2000, NSF is an unusual progressive, incurable disease seen in approximately 3% of patients with severe kidney disease who have had MRI scans using gadolinium. In NSF, collagen accumulates in tissues causing skin hardening and thickening, joint stiffening that can lead to physical disability, and disorders of the liver, lungs, heart, and the muscles.

"Even though it seems that gadolinium affects only those with severe renal failure, physicians have decided not to use gadolinium even in those with moderate renal failure,” stated Gregory M. Lanza, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at Washington University. "A lot of patients with diabetes or hypertension develop renal failure, so that decision potentially affects many people. Our goal has always been that our nanoparticle technology should be able to help everyone. And with a growing number of people having diabetes and related cardiovascular problems, we knew we needed to find a substitute for gadolinium-based particles--nanobialys are our first step in that direction.”

The researchers will continue to modify the nanobialys for a variety of medicinal applications and work to develop other types of nanoparticles so that they can supply a wide range of medical needs. "We're not sitting in the lab generating nanoparticles and then looking for what they could be used for,” Dr. Lanza said. "We see a medical problem, and ask what kind of particle might overcome it and then try to create it.”

Related Links:
Consortium for Translational Research in Advanced Imaging and Nanomedicine



Platinum Member
COVID-19 Rapid Test
OSOM COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test
Magnetic Bead Separation Modules
MAG and HEATMAG
Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Test
GPP-100 Anti-CCP Kit
Gold Member
Real-time PCR System
GentierX3 Series

Print article

Channels

Clinical Chemistry

view channel
Image: The 3D printed miniature ionizer is a key component of a mass spectrometer (Photo courtesy of MIT)

3D Printed Point-Of-Care Mass Spectrometer Outperforms State-Of-The-Art Models

Mass spectrometry is a precise technique for identifying the chemical components of a sample and has significant potential for monitoring chronic illness health states, such as measuring hormone levels... Read more

Molecular Diagnostics

view channel
Image: Liquid biopsy could detect and monitor aggressive small cell lung cancer (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

Blood-Based Test Detects and Monitors Aggressive Small Cell Lung Cancer

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a highly aggressive type of cancer known for its ability to metastasize. The behavior of tumors is largely governed by which genes are turned on, or transcribed, irrespective... Read more

Hematology

view channel
Image: The CAPILLARYS 3 DBS devices have received U.S. FDA 510(k) clearance (Photo courtesy of Sebia)

Next Generation Instrument Screens for Hemoglobin Disorders in Newborns

Hemoglobinopathies, the most widespread inherited conditions globally, affect about 7% of the population as carriers, with 2.7% of newborns being born with these conditions. The spectrum of clinical manifestations... Read more

Immunology

view channel
Image: The groundbreaking treatment approach has shown promise in hard-to-treat cancers (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

Genetic Testing Combined With Personalized Drug Screening On Tumor Samples to Revolutionize Cancer Treatment

Cancer treatment typically adheres to a standard of care—established, statistically validated regimens that are effective for the majority of patients. However, the disease’s inherent variability means... Read more

Microbiology

view channel
Image: Microscope image showing human colorectal cancer tumor with Fusobacterium nucleatum stained in a red-purple color (Photo courtesy of Fred Hutch Cancer Center)

Mouth Bacteria Test Could Predict Colon Cancer Progression

Colon cancer, a relatively common but challenging disease to diagnose, requires confirmation through a colonoscopy or surgery. Recently, there has been a worrying increase in colon cancer rates among younger... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2024 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.