In the Nikkei Business Daily newspaper dated February 1, 2008, research relating to "cancer identification," which is a joint research effort between Koji Tsuchiya, a researcher with the M. Abe & H. Sakai Lab of the Faculty of Science and Technology in the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry at the Tokyo University of Science, the Jikei University, and Aloka, a manufacturer of testing equipment for medical devices, was introduced.
The technology that is focused on in this research is one that uses tiny particles (micro-/nano-bubbles) formed from spraying sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) gas on a surfactant composed mainly of glucose as a contrast agent for ultrasounds by inserting them into living organisms. In an imaging experiment using an experimental model where cancer cells were cultivated in artificial materials, the tiny particles penetrated into the cancer, and it was found that the particles were still adsorbed to the cancer cells even after the cells were washed. As compared to conventional contrast agents that disappear immediately without ever adsorbing, since this contrast agent adsorbs to cancer cells, it is believed that the very existence of cancer itself can be determined by using this contrast agent. In this same newspaper, it is also mentioned that there are expectations for becoming able to diagnose micro cancer, which is difficult to assess even with positron-emission tomography (PET) equipment, in order to work closer with malignant cancer.
Article published in
"Nikkei Business Daily" February 1, 2008
Web site for M. Abe & H. Sakai Lab