Researchers have developed a process to mass manufacture an imaging agent to be used in computed tomography (CT) scans in heart disease, and breast cancer. Tantalum oxide is a cost-effective nanoparticle, which remains in the body until it has captured multiple organ images. The report has been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
According to the team led by Taeghwan Hyeon and Seung Hong Choi, CT involves medical imaging tests in diagnosing diseases. But it needs large quantities of agents that can render body organs visible.
Large quantities of tantalum oxide nanoparticles have been developed and clinically tested in the heart, lymph nodes and kidneys in lab rats. The nanoparticles were found not to impact normal organ functioning. They could be used in monitoring blood vessels in the heart to detect blockages, and lymph nodes to detect breast cancer.
The research program has been funded by the Korean Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, besides the National Research Foundation of Korea.