Imaging brain tumours

A new probe for imaging brain tumours could offer increased hope for cancer patients, say Chinese chemists.

Den-Angio visualizes an orthotopic U87MG tumor non-invasively in vivo. (A) NIR fluorescence and X-ray/color coded NIR fluorescence images of a mouse head at 2 h PI of Den-Angio. Arrows point to the tumor. (B) T1-weighted MR images of a mouse brain (coronal plane) at 2 h PI of Den-Angio or Gd3+–DTPA with the same gadolinium dose (0.05 mmol kg−1). White arrows point to the tumor and red arrows point to the cerebral ventricle. (C) Histological H&E staining of identical brains in panel B. Scale bar, 2 mm.Cong Li, at Fudan University, Shanghai, and colleagues have made a dendrimer-based nanoprobe called Den-Angio that can cross the blood-brain barrier. It can be used in the magnetic resonance imaging of brain tumours and should make it easier for doctors to distinguish cancerous tissue from healthy cells when cutting out the tumour.

To find out more, read Li’s ChemComm communication.

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