Nanotube-Based Sensors Can Be Implanted Under the Skin for a Year
Posted November 03, 2013 3:50 PM
Nitric oxide (NO) is one of the most important signaling molecules
in living cells, carrying messages within the brain and coordinating
immune system functions. In many cancerous cells, levels are perturbed,
but very little is known about how NO behaves in both healthy and
Nitric oxide has contradictory roles in cancer progression,
and we need new tools in order to better understand it," says Michael
Strano, the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT.
"Our work provides a new tool for measuring this important molecule, and
potentially others, in the body itself and in real time."
Led by postdoc Nicole Iverson, Strano's lab has built a sensor that
can monitor NO in living animals for more than a year. The sensors,
described in the Nov. 3 issue of Nature Nanotechnology, can be implanted under the skin
and used to monitor inflammation-a process that produces NO. This is
the first demonstration that nanosensors could be used within the body
for this extended period of time.