Elisabeth Manville
Apr 16, 2012

Scientists develop nanoparticles that highlight brain tumors, increase accuracy of removal

Scientists from Stanford University School of Medicine have successfully removed brain tumors in mice aided by nanoparticles. These nanoparticles home in on and highlight brain tumors, indicating their positions and making removal easier. This technique could help improve the prognosis of humans diagnosed with brain tumors, especially glioblastomas, which are nearly impossible to remove without damaging the normal brain. The nanoparticles developed and used in this study are miniscule gold balls coated with imaging reagents. The gold cores are enhanced by the coating, making them visible to different methods of imaging, including MRI. “Now we can learn the tumor’s extent before we go into the operating room, be guided with molecular precision during the excision procedure itself and then immediately afterward be able to ‘see’ once-invisible residual tumor material and take that out, too,” Sam Gambhir, who led the study, said.