Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. He has covered Health News for http://Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for http://Sharecare.com. His work has appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate, among others.
New technology allows researchers to safely examine intestines using nanoparticles. The popular name for these orally administered nanoparticles suspended in liquid is ‘Nanojuice.’
Celiac.com 08/01/2014 - I sometimes have to remind myself that it’s the 21st century, and that some amazing scientific breakthroughs that sound like something out of science fiction are, in fact, real.
Take for example the technology, recently developed by researchers at the University at Buffalo, that allows researchers to safely examine intestines using nanoparticles. The popular name for these orally administered nanoparticles suspended in liquid is ‘Nanojuice.’
Human small intestines are each about 23 feet long and 1 inch thick. Located between the stomach and the large intestine, the small intestine is notoriously difficult to examine, hence procedures like biopsies, endoscopies, etc.
The new technique, being developed by researchers at the University at Buffalo, uses nanoparticles and lasers to image the organ. Once the nanoparticles reach the intestines, doctors can strike the particles with a harmless laser. The technique provides real-time view of the intestine. This will help doctors diagnose irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, Crohn's disease and other gastrointestinal illnesses, according to the researchers.
So far, the research team has only tested their technology on mice, but they plan to refine the technique for clinical trials on human subjects. Researchers say that this method can help doctors get a better picture of the nature of celiac and other diseases.
The study is published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
What do you think? Will products like nanojuice represent the future of celiac disease diagnosis? If it is shown to be safe, would you prefer it to a biopsy?