Ink used by many people for tattoos is expected to be a useful tool for cancer detection, according to a new study from the University of Southern California. The trick is to distinguish cancer cells from nearby normal cells, which can be combined with ink, nanoparticles, or edible dyes for tattoos. For this reason, researchers from the university’s Vitri Department of Biomedical Engineering have developed a new imaging contrast technology.
After injecting this hybrid contrast agent into the patient, doctors were able to identify the cancer area more easily, with imaging contrast no less than traditional or even better.
The nanoparticles used in what researchers call “Optical Inks” have been developed specifically for cancer cells and have been approved by the FDA.
In addition, the researchers developed a nanoparticle that can carry pigment and stay in the tumor area longer than conventional smaller molecular dyes.
Study leader Cristina Zavaleta explained that small molecule dyes can initially gather in the tumor area, but do not leave much time for doctors because they are quickly excreted.
In contrast, the new nanoparticles are moderate in size and have strong permeability, allowing them to stay in the tumor area for longer periods of time. If a small amount of dye is wrapped in nanoparticles, better development results can be obtained.