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Enhanced MRI resolution with worms October 16, 2008

Posted by tomography in Innovation, MRI, Radiology.
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Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI for short is a popular noninvasive diagnostic imaging modality. MRI provides much greater contrast between the different soft tissues of the body than computed tomography (CT) and it does not utilize ionizing radiation making, thus it has become popular in Oncology, Neuroradiology, and othe fields of medicine.

In cancer treatment early detection is everything. If one catches a tumor at an early stage, chances of long-term survival are favorable. MRI, amongst other imaging modalities, is used to detect and stage various cancer types. Contrast agents such as Gadolinium may be used to further increase the contrast between normal and abnormal tissues in the human body.

Recently, Michael J. Sailor of the University of California at San Diego have developed an agent called “nanoworm” basically strings of iron-oxide particles, that will attach themselves to cancerous cells and show up more vividly on MRI scan making it easier for doctors to catch tumors at earlier stages before they become incurable. These worms will attach to cancerous cells via cancer-specific antibodies.

Further reading:

– Andras

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1. Hermenautic Circle blog » Injecting Nanoworms Could Stop Cancer [Mad Nano] - October 18, 2008

[…] Sure it’s bad to inhale carbon nanotubes, but if you just inject a few specially-designed nanoworms doctors might detect a cancerous tumor early enough to save your life. Special nanoworms made of strings of iron-oxide particles can be designed to seek out the common protein signatures of cancerous tumors. When your doctor uses an MRI to scan your body, the nanoworms show up very vividly in the resulting images. Researchers glancing at the images will see the tumors much more easily, and treat you before things get really hairy. [via Indulge in the Fascinating World of Tomography] […]


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