News / Science & Technology

Juice Infused with Microscopic Particles Offers 'Unparalleled' View of Gut

Nanojuice is infused with microscopic particles that could ultimately lead to a better understanding of how the intestine works. (Credit: Jonathan Lovell)Nanojuice is infused with microscopic particles that could ultimately lead to a better understanding of how the intestine works. (Credit: Jonathan Lovell)
x
Nanojuice is infused with microscopic particles that could ultimately lead to a better understanding of how the intestine works. (Credit: Jonathan Lovell)
Nanojuice is infused with microscopic particles that could ultimately lead to a better understanding of how the intestine works. (Credit: Jonathan Lovell)
Rosanne Skirble

A new imaging technique involving a specially-prepared liquid that patients drink could help doctors better diagnose and eventually treat illnesses in the gut. 

The small intestine is not small. And it’s not easy to examine. Sandwiched between the stomach and the large intestine, in an average adult it is 7 meters long and 2.5 centimeters thick. Getting a picture of it with X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasound is limited because of safety issues, accessibility or low resolution. 

University at Buffalo researchers wanted to get around those problems. 

“We thought it would be interesting if we could make some type of thing that you could drink, and it would pass through your intestine without getting absorbed into your body so it would be safe," said Jonathan Lovell, assistant professor of biomedical engineering.  

Juice Infused with Microscopic Particles Offers 'Unparalleled' View of Gut
Juice Infused with Microscopic Particles Offers 'Unparalleled' View of Gut i
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

The scientists created a drink called nanojuice. It is infused with microscopic nanoparticles which contain molecules of a dye that absorb light from the infrared spectrum.

“That’s the area of light that passes through your body the best," Lovell said. "If you have ever held up a flashlight to your hand or your ear, you can see the red light shining through. That type color of light can get through the body the best. So we made the nanojuice to absorb that color of light.” 

The researchers gave the nanojuice to laboratory mice, then scanned their abdomens with a harmless laser light, in an imaging process called photoacoustic tomography. What they saw was an unparalleled view of the organ. 

The combination of nanojuice and photoacoustic tomography illuminates the intestine of a mouse. (Credit: Jonathan Lovell)The combination of nanojuice and photoacoustic tomography illuminates the intestine of a mouse. (Credit: Jonathan Lovell)

“You can actually see the intestine motor patterns," Lovell said. "You can pick out how the intestine is working in real time without any kind of invasive procedures.”

The nanojuice passed safely through the gut without being absorbed or degraded. Lovell hopes to move to human clinical trials in the near future, which he says could ultimately lead to a better understanding of how the intestine works.
 
“To try to help people shed light on not only disease diagnosis, but also treatment and see if the treatments that are being prescribed by the doctors are affecting the disease that people have in the gastrointestinal track,” Lovell said. 

Lovell's team has made the nanojuice in four different colors, which he says in theory could be used at the same time to look at the diseased tissues as the nanojuices move through them. 

The work is described in the journal Nature Nanotechnology

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More