Researchers at Ohio State University have developed a way to enhance how brain tumors appear in MRI scans and during surgery, making the tumors easier for surgeons to identify and remove.
After experimenting with different nanoparticles, the scientists reported that they have manufactured a small particle called a nanocomposite that is both magnetic and fluorescent. The magnetic nanoparticles emphasize color contrasts with MRIs - allowing doctors to see potential or existing cancerous tumors before surgery - and they can also change the color that the tumor appears in the brain when seen under a special light.
"We're trying to develop a single nanocomposite that's magnetic - so you can do preoperative MRI - and that's fluorescent, so that when neurological surgeons go into surgery, they can shine a light on the tumor and it will glow a specific color such as green, for example. Then, the surgeon can simply remove all of the green," explained Jessica Winter, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and biomedical engineering at Ohio State.