24 September 2012

A new method for imaging nanoparticles in vivo

The fate of nanoparticles in the body

ChemPort.Ru based on the materials of the Royal Society of Chemistry: Biological fate of nanoparticles in the bodyCurrently, metal oxide nanoparticles are used in a large number of applications, including diagnostics and biomedicine.

However, these nanoparticles are extremely difficult to detect and figure out how they are distributed in a biological system, for example, the human body.

Spanish scientists have managed to develop a new way to study the bio-distribution of these particles. Until now, technologies for introducing a label into nanoparticles have been based on the functionalization of the surface of nanoparticles, but such a modification could lead to a change in the behavior of nanoparticles.

Jordi Llop and co-authors have developed a unique approach to avoid such a potential change in the structure and properties of the system by obtaining metal oxide nanoparticles enriched with 18 O. The 18 O nuclide in the composition of metal oxide nanoparticles can be converted into radioactive 18 F, which can be observed in vivo. (The article Tracing nanoparticles in vivo: a new general synthesis of positron emitting metal oxide nanoparticles by proton beam activation is published on the website of the Analyst – VM journal).

Spanish researchers have demonstrated on the example of laboratory rats that the new method allows you to monitor the distribution of nanoparticles throughout the body. The method allows you to find out the fate of labeled nanoobjects within 8 hours after taking them into the body. The researchers confirmed that, at least in rats, the slow removal of nanoparticles from the body goes through the bloodstream, nanoparticles are excreted in the urine and practically do not accumulate in the brain.

Erik Arstad, an expert on the use of radioactive labels in biodiagnostics, notes that although the work of Spanish colleagues is an interesting approach, he fears that the low intensity of radiation and the short half-life of 18 F will make it difficult to use nanoparticles labeled with this nuclide in real medical and biomedical research.

Llop does not agree with Arstad's arguments, stating that the radiation intensity is not so low, and the method allows for more effective tracking of nanoparticles than existing ones. Nevertheless, he admits that this process is limited in time, and it is necessary to quickly carry out all manipulations with nanoparticles after their activation, so that the labeled particles are still characterized by a sufficient level of radiation to be able to track them. He also adds that in the long term it is planned to modify the technique by incorporating nuclides with a long half-life into nanoparticles.

Llop is confident that the appropriate functionalization of nanoparticles will expand the possibilities of their practical use in biomedicine, and that his group continues to search for nanoparticles that could become contrasts for positron emission tomography or magnetic resonance tomography.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru24.09.2012

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