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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid