Beyond the Red: Seeing Tumors in a New Light

Look

fluroescing nanoparticles in tissue

This image, by Li Gu and Xiangnan Dang of the Koch Institute, shows fluorescing nanoparticles in a metastatic tumor.

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fluroescing nanoparticles in tissue

Li Gu, Xiangnan Dang, Paula Hammond, Angela Belcher
Koch Institute at MIT

Tiny tumors escape detection via traditional means, but researchers are using a long-wavelength band of light known as the second near-infrared window to penetrate deep into tissue and monitor cancer cells in real time at unprecedented resolution.

This image shows layered nanoparticles (green) illuminating a microscopic tumor. With the ability to selectively target cancer cells now established, researchers are turning their attention to programming the particles to deliver drugs that will annihilate these hard-to-find, early-stage tumors.

Read more about this work here (article published in PNAS, May 2016).

Watch

Li Gu shares the "Beyond the Red" story. You can also watch his presentation at the exhibition opening event on March 3, 2016.