Implantable Carbon Nanotubes for Detecting Cancer

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Submitted by Nicole M Iverson, Esha Atolia, Vsevolod Ivanov, and Edgardo Farias from the Laboratories of Gerald Wogan, Michael Strano, and John Essigmann at MIT

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We are doing research to look at the possibility of implanting carbon nanotube hydrogels into animals.  These carbon nanotubes can be used as sensors for cancer – hopefully allowing the detection of even a single cancerous cell without exposing the animal to any radiation or performing surgery. An important step in this process is to ensure that the carbon nanotubes get to the tissue that we are interested in studying.

This is an image showing the presence and concentration of carbon nanotubes in a mouse’s liver. By taking this image, as well as many other images of livers at different time points after the injection, we were able to see how long it takes the carbon nanotubes to get to the liver and how long they stay in the tissue.