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Posted: Jun 21, 2017
Guiding brain tumor surgery with nanoprobes
(Nanowerk News) Researchers in China have developed two pH-responsive nanoprobes to guide brain-tumor surgery via the magnetic resonance (MR) and surface-enhanced resonance Raman spectroscopy (SERRS) signals activated upon their self-assembly in acidic tumor extracellular fluid.
The novel features of the pH-responsive nanoprobes include:
simultaneous activation of MR and SERRS signals for preoperative and intraoperative imaging, respectively, which helps overcome the image distortion caused by brain shifts during surgery,
demarcation of the tumor invasive margin with high sensitivity and durability through the retention of the nanoprobe aggregates in the tumor site and the clearance of the intact nanoprobes in normal brain tissue,
brain-tumor visualization regardless of their genotypes or phenotypes since extracellular acidification is a hallmark of all solid tumors, and
low systemic toxicity due to their minimized uptake in normal brain tissues and rapid excretion rate.
"As far as we are aware, this pair of nanoprobes is the first example of a system that guides brain-tumor resection by sensing acidic tumor microenvironments," the authors conclude. "They are promising candidates to improve the outcome of brain-tumor surgery and accelerate the clinical translation of AuNS-based imaging probes."