Magnetic nanoparticles could stop blood clot-caused strokes
- By loading magnetic nanoparticles with drugs and dressing them in biochemical camouflage, they can destroy blood clots 100 to 1,000 times faster than a commonly used clot-busting technique.
- The nanoparticles are designed to trap themselves at the site of the clot, which means they can quickly deliver a burst of the commonly used clot-busting drug tPA where it is most needed.
- Typically, a small volume of concentrated tPA is injected into a stroke patient’s blood upstream of a confirmed or suspected clot. From there, some of the tPA reaches the clot, but much of it may cruise past or around the clot, potentially ending up anywhere in the circulatory system. tPA is typically used in emergency scenarios by health care staff, but it can be dangerous to patients who are prone to hemorrhage.
- We think it is possible to use a static magnetic field first to help guide the nanoparticles to the clot, then alternate the orientation of the field to increase the nanoparticles’ efficiency in dissolving clots,” said Paolo Decuzzi, Ph.D., the study’s co-principal investigator.
3-D heart printed using multiple imaging techniques
- Congenital heart experts have successfully integrated two common imaging techniques to produce a three-dimensional anatomic model of a patient’s heart. This is the first time the integration of computed tomography (CT) and three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography (3DTEE) has been used in this way. A proof-of-concept study also opens the way for these techniques to be used in combination with a third tool — magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
- According to Joseph Vettukattil, M.D. and his colleagues, each imaging tool has different strengths, which can improve and enhance 3D printing:
- CT enhances visualization of the outside anatomy of the heart.
- MRI is superior to other imaging techniques for measuring the interior of the heart, including the right and left ventricles or main chambers of the heart, as well as the heart’s muscular tissue.
- 3DTEE provides the best visualization of valve anatomy.
- Vettukattil said that this is a huge leap for individualized medicine in cardiology and congenital heart disease.
Scientists put final pieces into place for seeing cancer with protons
- Scientists recently in South Africa put together a unique medical imaging platform, which could improve treatment for millions of cancer sufferers by making proton therapy a viable option.Proton therapy is rapidly gaining momentum as a cancer treatment around the world.
- Like x-rays, protons can penetrate tissue to reach deep tumours. However, compared to x-rays, protons cause less damage to healthy tissue in front of the tumour, and no damage at all to healthy tissue lying behind, which greatly reduces the side effects of radiation therapy.
- Using protons to form an image of the patient will greatly improve the accuracy of proton therapy.
- Millions of protons make up a single image and each particle has to be individually tracked from the point it enters the patient to the point where it leaves. The PRaVDA (Proton Radiotherapy Verification and Dosimetry Applications) instrument is therefore one of the most complex medical instruments ever developed, but it is absolutely essential.