Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nanoparticles and the BBB

Did you know that being able to detect brain tumors quickly and accurately can be key to treatment? University of Washington researchers used nanoparticles, about 33 nanometers in diameter when wet, to safely cross the blood-brain barrier (an almost impenetrable barrier that protects the brain from infection) and enable a process known as brain tumor painting. This process lights up tumors and better pinpoints their location in the brain, which allows doctors not only to better identify the location of the tumor but also to identify its boundaries. Eventually, it may be possible even use the nanoparticles to carry treatment medication across the blood-brain barrier to the tumor.

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