"Nanojuice" for Real-Time Gut Imaging

the MPR take:

Researchers at the University of Buffalo are developing a new imaging technique that would provide a non-invasive, real-time view of the small intestine. Current methods for evaluating the small intestine include the drinking of barium, followed by x-rays, MRIs, and ultrasounds; these techniques can show the organ and blockages, but not in real time. In the new technique, small molecules called naphthalcyanines are suspended in liquid to create “nanojuice” which is consumed by the patient. After reaching the small intestine, the nanoparticles are illuminated with a laser light to show real-time activity like disruption in peristalsis that could be a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, Crohn's disease, and other gastrointestinal illnesses. The researchers hope to also expand their work into using this “nanojuice” with other areas of the gastrointestinal tract.

"Nanojuice" for Real-Time Gut Imaging
Credit: Jonathan Lovell

A new imaging technique involving nanoparticles suspended in liquid to form 'nanojuice' that patients would drink holds promise for the examination of the gut. Upon reaching the small intestine, doctors would strike the nanoparticles with a harmless laser light, providing an unparalleled, non-invasive, real-time view of the organ.

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