A new nanoscale agent for imaging the gastrointestinal (GI) tract was developed by a multi-institutional team of researchers. According to the journal Nature Nanotechnology, which recently published the results of a study, the new method is a safe and noninvasive way of assessing the function and properties of the GI tract in real time, which may help physicians perform better diagnosis of diseases such as IBD, as well as improve gut disease treatments.
The scientists designed a multimodal functional imaging agent through a complementary approach that uses both photoacoustic imaging and positron emission tomography (PET). The research team expects to use the agent to perform noninvasive functional imaging of the intestine in real time. They developed a family of nanoparticles that are able to provide good optical contrast for imaging and avoid absorption into the body, as well as withstand the harsh conditions of the stomach and intestine.
Weibo Cai, associate professor of radiology, medical physics and biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, worked in collaboration with Jonathan Lovell, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and Chulhong Kim, assistant professor of creative information technology engineering a