Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New 'smart' material could help tap medical potential of tissue-penetrating light

Date:
November 18, 2011
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists are reporting development and successful initial testing of the first practical "smart" material that may supply the missing link in efforts to use in medicine a form of light that can penetrate four inches into the human body. The new polymer or plastic-like material has potential for use in diagnosing diseases and engineer new human tissues in the lab.

Scientists are reporting development and successful initial testing of the first practical “smart” material that may supply the missing link in efforts to use in medicine a form of light that can penetrate four inches into the human body.
Credit: Image courtesy of American Chemical Society

Scientists are reporting development and successful initial testing of the first practical "smart" material that may supply the missing link in efforts to use in medicine a form of light that can penetrate four inches into the human body. Their report on the new polymer or plastic-like material, which has potential for use in diagnosing diseases and engineer new human tissues in the lab, appears in ACS' journal Macromolecules.

Adah Almutairi and colleagues explain that near-infrared (NIR) light (which is just beyond what human can see) penetrates through the skin and almost four inches into the body, with great potential for diagnosing and treating diseases. Low-power NIR does not damage body tissues as it passes. Missing, however, are materials that respond effectively to low-power NIR. Plastics that disintegrate when hit with NIR, for instance, could be filled with anti-cancer medicine, injected into tumors, and release the medicine when hit with NIR. Current NIR-responsive smart materials require high-power NIR light, which could damage cells and tissues. That's why Almutairi's team began research on development of a new smart polymer that responds to low-power NIR light.

Hit with low-power NIR, their new material breaks apart into small pieces that seem to be nontoxic to surrounding tissue. The researchers envision, for instance, putting the polymer in an implantable "hydrogel," which is a water-containing flexible material used for tissue engineering and drug delivery. A hydrogel with the new polymer could release medications or imaging agents when hit with NIR. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of a polymeric material capable of disassembly into small molecules in response to harmless levels of irradiation," say the researchers.

The authors acknowledge funding from the NIH Director's New Innovator Award and King Abdul Aziz City of Science and Technology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nadezda Fomina, Cathryn L. McFearin, Marleen Sermsakdi, José M. Morachis, Adah Almutairi. Low Power, Biologically Benign NIR Light Triggers Polymer Disassembly. Macromolecules, 2011; 44 (21): 8590 DOI: 10.1021/ma201850q

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "New 'smart' material could help tap medical potential of tissue-penetrating light." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111116143049.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2011, November 18). New 'smart' material could help tap medical potential of tissue-penetrating light. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111116143049.htm
American Chemical Society. "New 'smart' material could help tap medical potential of tissue-penetrating light." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111116143049.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) — The Chasqui I, hand-delivered into orbit by a Russian cosmonaut, is one of hundreds of small satellites set to go up in the next few years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins