New imaging technique to visualize bio-metals and molecules

May 02, 2013
Photograph of GREI-II.

Metal elements and molecules interact in the body but visualizing them together has always been a challenge. Researchers from the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies have developed a new molecular imaging technology that enables them to visualize bio-metals and bio-molecules simultaneously in a live mouse. This new technology will enable researchers to study the complex interactions between metal elements and molecules in living organisms.

Metal elements such as zinc, iron and copper are present in trace amounts in the body and play an important role in myriad biological processes including gene expression, and . Abnormalities in the behaviour of these elements often reflect abnormalities in associated bio-molecules and studying them together can offer great insight into many biological processes.

Bio-molecules can be visualized in using positron emission tomography (PET), a widely used nuclear medical technique.

Dr. Shuichi Enomoto, Dr. Shinji Motomura and colleagues, from the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies have developed a gamma-ray imaging camera enabling them to detect the gamma-rays emitted by multiple bio-metal elements in the body and study their behavior.

Results of imaging experiment on a tumor-bearing mouse: a) localization of the three lines of tumour cells; b) localization of the labeled antibody; c) localization of Zn-containing injected radioactive agent

Their second prototype of the system, called GREI–II and presented today in the Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, enables them to visualize multiple bio-metal elements more than 10 times faster than before, and to do so simultaneously with positron emission tomography (PET).

In the study, the researchers were able to visualise two radioactive agents injected in a tumor-bearing mouse, as well as an anti-tumor antibody labelled with a PET agent, simultaneously in the live mouse.

This new revolutionary technology is expected to offer new insights into the relationships between bio-metal elements and associated bio-molecules, and the roles they play in diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

Explore further: Researchers have developed a diagnostic device to make portable health care possible

More information: Motomura, S. et al. Improved imaging performance of semiconductor Compton camera GREI makes for a new methodology to integrate bio-metal analysis and molecular imaging technology in living organisms, Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 2013.,doi: 10.1039/C3JA30185K

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Combined imaging agents advance PET imaging of cancer

Jun 06, 2011

Research presented at SNM's 58th Annual Meeting is taking targeted molecular imaging to a new level by combining two commonly used imaging agents into one molecular imaging procedure. The combination of these agents creates ...

FDA clears Siemens' 2-in-1 medical scanner

Jun 10, 2011

(AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration says it has cleared the first medical imaging device to simultaneously perform two powerful scans used to diagnose a wide variety of diseases and ailments.

Imaging inflammation in the living brain

Sep 30, 2011

Inflammation occurs in the human brain during illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and traumatic brain injury. Now, a research team in Japan has developed a probe that can ...

Dual-Mode Nanoparticles Image Tumors Using MRI and PET

Aug 15, 2008

Medical imaging represents one of the most used and useful procedures in the oncologist’s diagnostic toolkit, even though each of the most useful techniques—magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography x-ray ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0