MIT Materials Research Laboratory (MRL) interns covered a wide gamut of challenges this summer, working with materials as soft as silk to as hard as iron and at temperatures from as low as that of liquid helium (-452.47 degrees Fahrenheit) to as high as that of melted copper (1,984 F). 

Summer Scholars and other interns participated on the MIT campus through the MRL’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, with support from the National Science Foundation, the AIM Photonics Academy, the MRL Collegium, and the Guided Academic Industry Network (GAIN) program. 

Mid-infrared detectors

Simon Egner, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, made samples of lead tin telluride to detect mid-infrared light at wavelengths from 4 to 7 microns for integrated photonic applications. Egner measured several materials properties of the samples, including the concentration and mobility of electrons. “One thing we have come up with recently is adding lead oxide to try to decrease the amount of noise we get when sensing light with our detectors,” Egner says.

Lead tin telluride is an alloy of lead telluride and tin telluride, explains Peter Su, a materials science and engineering graduate student in the lab of MIT Materials Research Laboratory Principal Research Scientist Anuradha Agarwal. “If you have a lot of carriers already present in your material, you get a lot of extra noise, a lot of background signal, above which it’s really hard to detect the new carriers generated by the light striking your material,” Su says. “We’re trying to lower that noise level by lowering the carrier concentration and we’re trying to do that by adding lead oxide to that alloy.”

Thin films for photonics

Summer Scholar Alvin Chang, from Oregon State University, created chalcogenide thin films with non-linear properties for photonics applications. He worked with postdoc Samuel Serna in the lab of associate professor of materials science and engineering Juejun Hu. Chang varied the thickness of two different compositions, one of germanium, antimony and sulfur (GSS) and the other of germanium, antimony, and selenium (GSSE), creating a gradient, or ratio, between the two across the length of the film.

“The GSS and GSSE both have different advantages and disadvantages,” Chang explains. “We’re hoping that by merging the two together in a film we can sort of optimize both their advantages and disadvantages so that they would be complementary with each other.”

These materials, known as chalcogenide glasses, can be used for infrared sensing and imaging. Anyone interested in learning more about Chang’s work can watch this video.

Nanocomposite assembly

Both Roxbury Community College chemistry and biotechnology Professor Kimberly Stieglitz and Roxbury Community College student Credoritch Joseph worked in the lab of assistant professor in materials science and engineering Robert J. Macfarlane. The Macfarlane Lab grafts DNA to nanoparticles, which enable precise control over self-assembly of molecular structures. The lab is also creating a new class of chemical building blocks that it alls Nanocomposite Tectons, or NCTs, which present new opportunities for self-assembly of composite materials.

Joseph learned the multi-step process of creating self-assembled DNA-nanoparticle aggregates, and used the ones he preparted to study the stability of the aggregates when exposed to different chemicals. Stieglitz created NCTs consisting of clusters of gold nanoparticles with attached polymers and examined their melting behavior in polymer solutions. “They’re actually nanoparticles that are linked together through hydrogen bonding networks,” Stieglitz explains.

Strengthening aerospace composites

Abigail Nason, from the University of Florida, studied the potential benefits of incorporating carbon nanotubes into carbon fiber reinforced plastic [CFRP] via a process termed “nanostitching” in the lab of Brian L. Wardle, professor of aeronautics and astronautics.

Bundles of carbon microfibers, which are known as tows, are used to make sheets of aerospace-grade carbon fiber reinforced plastic. Working with graduate student Reed Kopp, Nason took 3-D scans of composite laminate samples to reveal their structure. Areas between sheets of the laminate are called the interlaminar region. Traditional composites have no reinforcement in this interlaminar region, and carbon nanotubes provide nano-scale fiber reinforcement in the nano-stitch version.

Kopp notes that despite the high level of resolution required to elucidate an intricate architecture of micro-scale features, the 3-D scans can’t distinguish the carbon nanotubes from the epoxy resin because they have similar density and elemental composition. “Since they absorb X-rays similarly, we can’t actually detect X-ray interaction differences that would indicate the locations of reinforcing carbon nanotube forests, but we can visualize how they affect the shape of the interlaminar region, such as how they may push fibers apart and change the shape of inherent resin-rich regions caused during carbon fiber reinforced plastic layer manufacturing.”

Nason adds: “It’s really interesting to see that there isn’t a lot of information out there about how composites fail and why they fail the way they do. But it’s really cool and interesting to be at the forefront of seeing this new technology and being able to look so closely at the composite layers and quantifying critical micro-scale material features that influence failure.” 

Synthesizing electronic materials

Summer Scholar Michael Molinski, from the University of Rhode Island, and Roxbury Community College student Bruce Quinn worked in the lab of assistant professor of materials science and engineering Rafael Jaramillo. Working with graduate students Stephen Filippone and Kevin Ye, both Molinski and Quinn made solid materials, producing powders of compounds such as barium zirconium sulfide, which are desireable for their optical and electrical properties. 

The process involves mixing together the chemical ingredients to produce the powders in a quartz tupe in the absense of air and sealing it. The first GAIN program participant, Quinn hot pressed the powders into pellets. Molinski also grew crystals, and both examined their powders with X-ray diffraction.

Developing multiple sclerosis models

Summer Scholar Fernando Nieves Muñoz, from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, worked in the lab of Krystyn Van Vliet, the Michael (1949) and Sonja Koerner Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, to develop mechanical models of multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions. Nieves Muñoz worked closely with research scientist Anna Jagielska and chemical engineering graduate student Daniela Espinosa-Hoyos.

“We are trying to find a way to stimulate repair of myelin in MS patients so that neurological function can be restored. To better understand how remyelination works, we are developing polymer-based materials to engineer models of MS lesions that mimic mechanical stiffness of real lesions in the brain,” Jagielska explains. 

Nieves Muñoz used stereolithography 3-D printing to create cross-linked polymers with varying degrees of mechanical stiffness and conducted atomic force microscopy studies to determine the stiffness of his samples. “Our long-term goal is to use these models of lesions and brain tissue to develop drugs that can stimulate myelin repair,” Nieves Muñoz says. “As a mechanical engineering major, it has been exciting to work and learn from people with diverse backgrounds.”

Other MIT Materials Research Laboratory interns tackled projects including superconducting thin films, quantum dots for solar, spinning particles with magnetism, carbon-activated silk fibers, water-based iron flow batteries, and polymer-based neuro fibers. 

A version of this post, including additional MRL summer intern success stories, originally appeared on the Materials Research Laboratory website.
Source – Author: mit.edu – Nanotech
Date/time: 11th September 2018, 15:03

MIT engineers have united the principles of self-assembly and 3-D printing using a new technique, which they highlight today in the journal Advanced Materials.

By their direct-write colloidal assembly process, the researchers can build centimeter-high crystals, each made from billions of individual colloids, defined as particles that are between 1 nanometer and 1 micrometer across.

“If you blew up each particle to the size of a soccer ball, it would be like stacking a whole lot of soccer balls to make something as tall as a skyscraper,” says study co-author Alvin Tan, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering. “That’s what we’re doing at the nanoscale.”

The researchers found a way to print colloids such as polymer nanoparticles in highly ordered arrangements, similar to the atomic structures in crystals. They printed various structures, such as tiny towers and helices, that interact with light in specific ways depending on the size of the individual particles within each structure.

Nanoparticles dispensed from a needle onto a rotating stage, creating a helical crystal containing billions of nanoparticles. (Credit: Alvin Tan)

The team sees the 3-D printing technique as a new way to build self-asssembled materials that leverage the novel properties of nanocrystals, at larger scales, such as optical sensors, color displays, and light-guided electronics.

“If you could 3-D print a circuit that manipulates photons instead of electrons, that could pave the way for future applications in light-based computing, that manipulate light instead of electricity so that devices can be faster and more energy efficient,” Tan says.

Tan’s co-authors are graduate student Justin Beroz, assistant professor of mechanical engineering Mathias Kolle, and associate professor of mechanical engineering A. John Hart.

Out of the fog

Colloids are any large molecules or small particles, typically measuring between 1 nanometer and 1 micrometer in diameter, that are suspended in a liquid or gas. Common examples of colloids are fog, which is made up of soot and other ultrafine particles dispersed in air, and whipped cream, which is a suspension of air bubbles in heavy cream. The particles in these everyday colloids are completely random in their size and the ways in which they are dispersed through the solution.

If uniformly sized colloidal particles are driven together via evaporation of their liquid solvent, causing them to assemble into ordered crystals, it is possible to create structures that, as a whole, exhibit unique optical, chemical, and mechanical properties. These crystals can exhibit properties similar to interesting structures in nature, such as the iridescent cells in butterfly wings, and the microscopic, skeletal fibers in sea sponges.

So far, scientists have developed techniques to evaporate and assemble colloidal particles into thin films to form displays that filter light and create colors based on the size and arrangement of the individual particles. But until now, such colloidal assemblies have been limited to thin films and other planar structures.

“For the first time, we’ve shown that it’s possible to build macroscale self-assembled colloidal materials, and we expect this technique can build any 3-D shape, and be applied to an incredible variety of materials,” says Hart, the senior author of the paper.

Building a particle bridge

The researchers created tiny three-dimensional towers of colloidal particles using a custom-built 3-D-printing apparatus consisting of a glass syringe and needle, mounted above two heated aluminum plates. The needle passes through a hole in the top plate and dispenses a colloid solution onto a substrate attached to the bottom plate.

The team evenly heats both aluminum plates so that as the needle dispenses the colloid solution, the liquid slowly evaporates, leaving only the particles. The bottom plate can be rotated and moved up and down to manipulate the shape of the overall structure, similar to how you might move a bowl under a soft ice cream dispenser to create twists or swirls.

Beroz says that as the colloid solution is pushed through the needle, the liquid acts as a bridge, or mold, for the particles in the solution. The particles “rain down” through the liquid, forming a structure in the shape of the liquid stream. After the liquid evaporates, surface tension between the particles holds them in place, in an ordered configuration.

As a first demonstration of their colloid printing technique, the team worked with solutions of polystyrene particles in water, and created centimeter-high towers and helices. Each of these structures contains 3 billion particles. In subsequent trials, they tested solutions containing different sizes of polystyrene particles and were able to print towers that reflected specific colors, depending on the individual particles’ size.

“By changing the size of these particles, you drastically change the color of the structure,” Beroz says. “It’s due to the way the particles are assembled, in this periodic, ordered way, and the interference of light as it interacts with particles at this scale. We’re essentially 3-D-printing crystals.”

The team also experimented with more exotic colloidal particles, namely silica and gold nanoparticles, which can exhibit unique optical and electronic properties. They printed millimeter-tall towers made from 200-nanometer diameter silica nanoparticles, and 80-nanometer gold nanoparticles, each of which reflected light in different ways.

“There are a lot of things you can do with different kinds of particles ranging from conductive metal particles to semiconducting quantum dots, which we are looking into,” Tan says. “Combining them into different crystal structures and forming them into different geometries for novel device architectures, I think that would be very effective in fields including sensing, energy storage, and photonics.”

This work was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation, the Singapore Defense Science Organization Postgraduate Fellowship, and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program.
Source – Author: mit.edu – Nanotech
Date/time: 30th August 2018, 21:03

When spraying paint or coatings onto a surface, or fertilizers or pesticides onto crops, the size of the droplets makes a big difference. Bigger drops will drift less in the wind, allowing them to strike their intended targets more accurately, but smaller droplets are more likely to stick when they land instead of bouncing off.

Now, a team of MIT researchers has found a way to balance those properties and get the best of both — sprays that don’t drift too far but provide tiny droplets to stick to the surface. The team accomplished this in a surprisingly simple way, by placing a fine mesh in between the spray and the intended target to break up droplets into ones that are only one-thousandth as big.

The findings are reported today in the journal Physical Review Fluids, in a paper by MIT associate professor of mechanical engineering Kripa Varanasi, former postdoc Dan Soto, graduate student Henri-Louis Girard, and three others at MIT and at CNRS in Paris.

(Courtesy of the Varanasi Research Group)

Earlier work by Varanasi and his team had focused on ways to get the droplets to stick more effectively to the surfaces they strike rather than bouncing away. The new study focuses on the other end of the problem — how to get the droplets to reach the surface in the first place. Varanasi explains that typically less that 5 percent of sprayed liquids actually stick to their intended targets; of the 95 percent or more that gets wasted, about half is lost to drift and never even gets there, and the other half bounces away.

Atomizers — devices that can spray liquids in the form of droplets so small that they remain suspended in air rather than settling out — are crucial parts of many industrial processes, including painting and coating, spraying fuel into engines or water into cooling towers, and printing with fine droplets of ink. The new advance developed by this team was to make the initial spray in the form of larger drops, which are much less affected by breezes and more likely to reach their targets, and then to create the much finer droplets just before they reach the surface, by placing a mesh screen in between.

Though the process could apply to many different spraying applications, “the big motivation is agriculture,” Varanasi says. The runoff of pesticides that miss their target and fall on the ground can be a significant cause of pollution and a waste of the expensive chemicals. What’s more, the impact of finer droplets is less likely to damage or weaken certain plants.

Farmers already cover some kinds of crops with fabric meshes, to protect against birds and insects devouring the plants, so the process is already familiar and widely used. Many kinds of mesh materials would work, the researchers say — what matters is the size of the openings in the mesh and the material’s thickness, parameters the team has precisely quantified through a series of lab experiments and mathematical analysis. For their experiments, the researchers primarily used a commonly available and inexpensive fine stainless steel mesh.

The researchers propose that, after deploying the mesh over the crop, either directly supported by the plant stalks or supported on a framework, a farmer could simply use a conventional sprayer that produces larger drops, which would stay on course even in breezy conditions. Then, as the drops reach the plants, they would be broken up by the mesh into fine droplets, each about a tenth of a millimeter across, which would greatly increase their chances of sticking.

(Courtesy of the Varanasi Research Group)

As an extra bonus, the presence of the mesh over the crops could also protect them from damage from rainstorms, by also breaking up the raindrops into smaller droplets that place less stress on the plant when they strike. Crop damage from storms, which can seriously reduce yields in some cases, may be reduced in the process, the researchers say. In addition, bigger drops cause more splashing, which can lead to a spread of pathogens.

Besides being more efficient, the process may also reduce the problem of drift of pesticides, which sometimes blow from one farmer’s field to another, and even from one state to another, Varanasi says, and also sometimes end up in people’s homes. “People want to fix this. They’re looking for solutions.”

The same principle could be applied to other uses, Girard points out, such as the spraying of water into cooling towers such as those used for electric power plants and many industrial or chemical plants. Using a mesh below the spray heads in such towers “can create finer droplets, which evaporate faster and provide better cooling,” he says. Cooling efficiency is related to the drop’s surface area, which is three orders of magnitude greater with the finer droplets, he says.

In recent work, Varanasi and his team found a way to recover much of the water that gets lost to evaporation from such cooling towers, by using a different kind of mesh over the towers’ top. The new finding could be combined with that method, thus improving power plant efficiency on both the input and output sides.

For painting and for applying other kinds of coatings, the finer the droplets are, the better they cover and adhere, Girard says, so the process could improve the quality and durability of the coatings.

While most existing atomization methods rely on high pressure to force liquid through a narrow opening, which requires energy to create the pressure, this method is purely passive and mechanical, Girard says. “Here, we let the mesh do the atomization essentially for free.”

The team included Antoine Le Helloco, and Thomas Binder at MIT and David Quere at CNRS in Paris. The work was supported by the MIT-France program.
Source – Author: mit.edu – Nanotech
Date/time: 29th August 2018, 09:03

The postdoctoral training period is a time when junior researchers learn what it takes to become independent investigators. Pursuing a career in biomedical research can be highly demanding, and young researchers often feel challenged to find time to reflect on various career possibilities, explore options of interest, develop associated professional skills, and still maintain an acceptable work-life balance.

At MIT, about 1,500 postdocs are appointed to more than 50 departments, and serve as vital members of the Institute’s research workforce. 

“Expectations for faculty members, particularly in the biomedical sciences, have evolved quite significantly from what they used to be say 10, 20 years ago,” says Sangeeta N. Bhatia, the John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and the inaugural director of the Koch Institute’s Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine. “Professors are not just managing the lab and classroom mediums, but also serving on advisory boards and launching new research and commercial ventures. They also advocate for evidence-based policy and engage with the wider public about the implications of their research.”

The Marble Center, established through a generous gift from Kathy and Curt Marble ’63, launched the Convergence Scholars Program on National Nanotechnology Day on Oct. 9, 2017, a date that corresponds to the scientific notation — 10-9 — that designates the nanoscale. The aim of the program is to help postdocs hone the skills they need to succeed within and beyond the academic setting.

When divergent needs converge

The brainchild of Tarek R. Fadel, assistant director of the Marble Center, the Convergence Scholars Program is designed to offer career development opportunities that address the needs of the individual trainee and the ever-changing landscape of research. For example, monthly workshops focus on topics such as science communication and management, and leadership of scientific workplaces.

“Virtually all postdocs contemplate careers in academia. I typically hear trainees ask for advice on how they will recruit new scientists, develop budgets, manage multiple and often overlapping projects, and resolve potential conflicts between collaborators,” Fadel says. “We want our young scientists to think about these issues early in their training and to grow a wide network of mentors on whom they can rely during this transitional phase of their career.”

Jacob Martin, a Convergence Scholar in the laboratory of Koch Institute Associate Director Darrell Irvine, a professor of biological engineering and of materials science and engineering, recalls his apprehension about funding and other challenges associated with an academic research career.

“One of the reasons I felt encouraged to apply for the program was that, beyond acknowledging that I should consider ‘alternative’ careers, I didn’t know where to start,” Martin says. “Of course, I knew of some of the options in the biopharmaceutical industry, but I really wanted to put everything back on the table and consider other careers that I might never have realized would be available and enjoyable for me. This idea seemed exciting but also daunting — frankly, overwhelming.”

Fadel adds that “one of the key aims of the Convergence Scholars Program is to serve as a centralized resource, connecting postdocs with training and opportunities without requiring the time or anxiety of having to figure everything out themselves.”

The program also offers insight and inroads into careers in industry, health care, the policy arena, or with federal research or regulatory agencies. In order to offer this wide variety of resources for participants, the program partners with organizations around MIT and off campus, including the MIT BE Communications Lab and Harvard Catalyst. The program also engages a network of mentors from the pharmaceutical industry, the government sector, and elsewhere.

Taking full advantage of the array of opportunities available, recent Convergence Scholar Briana Dunn worked with the education and outreach team at the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office and volunteered doing hands-on nanotechnology experiments with children and families at a national science event. She also explored options in health care and joined the American Medical Writers Association, enrolling in courses to learn more about medical writing and even earning a credential.

“I was lucky that I had the opportunity to explore my interests in an organized and thoughtful way,” says Dunn, then a member of the laboratory of Angela Belcher, the James Mason Crafts Professor.

Off to a strong start

Six postdocs were selected for the inaugural class of Convergence Scholars, one from each of the Marble Center’s member labs:

Natalie Boehnke, Hammond Laboratory
Briana Dunn, Belcher Laboratory
Liangliang Hao, Bhatia Laboratory
Jacob Martin, Irvine Laboratory
Ritu Raman, Langer Laboratory
Kaitlyn Sadtler, Anderson Laboratory
In addition to training opportunities, each scholar also receives a stipend to use for professional activities and travel. This year, such activities ranged from volunteering at the U.S. Science and Engineering Festival and Family Science Days held as part of the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), to participating in workshops on leadership in bioscience at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and science policy at AAAS.

Although the first year of the Convergence Scholars Program has not yet come to a close, participants say through their reviews that the initiative is on the right track. Dunn, for example, has found a job in industry that combines several of her interests.

“Through CSP, I was able to explore my options more deeply and in a way that really focused on my professional development,” she says.

Bhatia and Fadel envision that the next cohort — to be announced in October — will also include postdocs from other centers within the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, where the Marble Center is housed.
Source – Author: mit.edu – Nanotech
Date/time: 25th August 2018, 00:09

Glioma, a type of brain cancer, is normally treated by removing as much of the tumor as possible, followed by radiation or chemotherapy. With this treatment, patients survive an average of about 10 years, but the tumors inevitably grow back.

A team of researchers from MIT, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital hopes to extend patients’ lifespan by delivering directly to the brain a drug that targets a mutation found in 20 to 25 percent of all gliomas. (This mutation is usually seen in gliomas that strike adults under the age of 45.) The researchers have devised a way to rapidly check for the mutation during brain surgery, and if the mutation is present, they can implant microparticles that gradually release the drug over several days or weeks.

“To provide really effective therapy, we need to diagnose very quickly, and ideally have a mutation diagnosis that can help guide genotype-specific treatment,” says Giovanni Traverso, an assistant professor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, a research affiliate at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and one of the senior authors of the paper.

The researchers are also working ways to identify and target other mutations found in gliomas and other types of brain tumors.

“This paradigm allows us to modify our current intraoperative resection strategy by applying molecular therapeutics that target residual tumor cells based on their specific vulnerabilities,” says Ganesh Shankar, who is currently completing a spine surgery fellowship at Cleveland Clinic prior to returning as a neurosurgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he performed this study.

Shankar and Koch Institute postdoc Ameya Kirtane are the lead authors of the paper, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of Aug. 6. Daniel Cahill, a neurosurgeon at MGH and associate professor at Harvard Medical School, is a senior author of the paper, and Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT, is also an author.

Targeting tumors

The tumors that the researchers targeted in this study, historically known as low-grade gliomas, usually occur in patients between the ages of 20 and 40. During surgery, doctors try to remove as much of the tumor as possible, but they can’t be too aggressive if tumors invade the areas of the brain responsible for key functions such as speech or movement. The research team wanted to find a way to locally treat those cancer cells with a targeted drug that could delay tumor regrowth.

To achieve that, the researchers decided to target a mutation called IDH1/2. Cancer cells with this mutation shut off a metabolic pathway that cells normally use to create a molecule called NAD, making them highly dependent on an alternative pathway that requires an enzyme called NAMPT. Researchers have been working to develop NAMPT inhibitors to treat cancer.

So far, these drugs have not been used for glioma, in part because of the difficulty in getting them across the blood-brain barrier, which separates the brain from circulating blood and prevents large molecules from entering the brain. NAMPT inhibitors can also produce serious side effects in the retina, bone marrow, liver, and blood platelets when they are given orally or intravenously.

To deliver the drugs locally, the researchers developed microparticles in which the NAMPT inhibitor is embedded in PLGA, a polymer that has been shown to be safe for use in humans. Another desirable feature of PLGA is that the rate at which the drug is released can be controlled by altering the ratio of the two polymers that make up PLGA — lactic acid and glycolic acid.

To determine which patients would benefit from treatment with the NAMPT inhibitor, the researchers devised a genetic test that can reveal the presence of the IDH mutation in approximately 30 minutes. This allows the procedure to be done on biopsied tissue during the surgery, which takes about four hours. If the test is positive, the microparticles can be placed in the brain, where they gradually release the drug, killing cells left behind during the surgery.

In tests in mice, the researchers found that treatment with the drug-carrying particles extended the survival of mice with IDH mutant-positive gliomas. As they expected, the treatment did not work against tumors without the IDH mutation. In mice treated with the particles, the team also found none of the harmful side effects seen when NAMPT inhibitors are given throughout the body.

“When you dose these drugs locally, none of those side effects are seen,” Traverso says. “So not only can you have a positive impact on the tumor, but you can also address the side effects which sometimes limit the use of a drug that is otherwise effective against tumors.”

The new approach builds on similar work from Langer’s lab that led to the first FDA-approved controlled drug-release system for brain cancer — a tiny wafer that can be implanted in the brain following surgery.

“I am very excited about this new paper, which complements very nicely the earlier work we did with Henry Brem of Johns Hopkins that led to Gliadel, which has now been approved in over 30 countries and has been used clinically for the past 22 years,” Langer says.

An array of options

The researchers are now developing tests for other common mutations found in brain tumors, with the goal of devising an array of potential treatments for surgeons to choose from based on the test results. This approach could also be used for tumors in other parts of the body, the researchers say.

“There’s no reason this has to be restricted to just gliomas,” Shankar says. “It should be able to be used anywhere where there’s a well-defined hotspot mutation.”

They also plan to do some tests of the IDH-targeted treatment in larger animals, to help determine the right dosages, before planning for clinical trials in patients.

“We feel its best use would be in the early stages, to improve local control and prevent regrowth at the site,” Cahill says. “Ideally it would be integrated early in the standard-of-care treatment for patients, and we would try to put off the recurrence of the disease for many years or decades. That’s what we’re hoping.”

The research was funded by the American Brain Tumor Association, a SPORE grant from the National Cancer Institute, the Burroughs Wellcome Career Award in the Medical Sciences, the National Institutes of Health, and the Division of Gastroenterology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Source – Author: mit.edu – Nanotech
Date/time: 8th August 2018, 11:35