March 7, 2016
The Kircher laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering, New York, USA, is developing novel nanoprobes for molecular imaging, image-guided therapy and theranostics. Its ultimate goal is to develop a universal technology that allows precise determination of the actual spread of a tumour in vivo. Currently surgeons cannot see the microscopic extent of the tumour during a procedure, which is essential information for tumour removal and avoiding excess tissue excision.
Physician-scientist Dr Moritz Kircher is working on a new generation of nanometer-sized imaging beacons. These allow detection, during surgeries and minimally invasive procedures, of the macroscopic extent of the primary tumour, its true microscopic spread, as well information on satellite micrometastases. These nanobeacons can be located using surface enhanced resonance Raman scattering (SERRS), which can be combined with other whole-body imaging methods, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or positron emission tomography (PET).