Device Allows Monitoring of Brain Cancer Therapies in Real-Time


Scientists developed new imaging techniques to see how brain cancer cells (the darker grey on the bottom left) take in gold nano bar treatment (the small grey specks). The blown up images on the right show how the cell takes up the treatment over 30 seconds.

Brain tumors are notoriously difficult to treat partially because of the blood-brain barrier, but also because the same tumor can consist of differently mutated cells. Researchers at Virginia Tech have developed a way of isolating glioblastoma stem cells from the rest of tumor cells and putting them through therapies, while being able to watch the cells in real-time.

glioThe researchers used a microchip containing antibodies to attract the stem cells, and worked withProtochips Inc. to develop a microfluidic device within which the cells can be trapped in a liquid environment. The researchers were then able to use transmission electron microscopy to visualize the cells as they were put through a simulated regimen of gold nanorods injected into their interior.

“We were curious to see whether we could isolate these types of toxic cells from the other brain tumor cells, while developing new imaging tools at the single-cell level to visualize the course of therapies needed to eradicate these cells,” said Deborah Kelly, the project’s lead scientist and a biophysicist with extensive expertise in high-resolution imaging.

More from study in Nano Letters: Real-Time Visualization of Nanoparticles Interacting with Glioblastoma Stem Cells…

Source: Virginia Tech…

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