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Researchers have refined and, for the first time, run in vivo tests of a method that may allow nanotube-based probes to locate specific tumors in the body.
The new results suggest that antibody-nanotube probes could potentially detect tumors with as few as 100 ovarian cancer cells…
Their ability to pinpoint tumors with submillimeter accuracy could eventually improve early detection and treatment of ovarian cancer.
The noninvasive technique relies on single-walled carbon nanotubes that researchers can optically trigger to emit shortwave infrared light. The lab of chemist Bruce Weisman, a pioneer in the discovery and interpretation of the phenomenon, reports the new results in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.
For this study, the researchers used the technique to pinpoint small concentrations of nanotubes inside rodents.
The lab of coauthor Robert Bast Jr., an expert in ovarian cancer and vice president for translational research at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, inserted gel-bound carbon nanotubes into the ovaries of rodents to mimic the accumulations that researchers expect for nanotubes linked to special antibodies that recognize tumor cells.