2011-02-19 09:42:10 | 人氣(411) | 回應(0) | 上一篇 | 下一篇

能持續進行醫療監測的奈米管

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Tiny 'microworms' could be implanted under the skin to give readout of blood sugar levels or other biomedical information.

細小'微蟲狀物'能被植於皮膚下,來產生血糖含量或其他生物醫學信息的讀取資料。

 

Researchers at MIT and Northeastern have come up with a new system for monitoring biomedical indicators — such as levels of sodium or glucose in the blood — that could someday lead to implantable devices that would allow, for example, people with diabetes to check their blood sugar just by glancing at an area of skin.

美國麻省理工學院及東北大學的研究人員們,業已想出一種監測生物醫學指標,諸如血液中鈉或葡萄糖等含量的新方法。此方法有朝一日可能引領出,譬如使糖尿病患者得以僅藉由看一眼小塊皮膚,來察看血糖的可植入裝置。

 

A number of researchers have developed microparticle-based systems — hollow, microscopic particles filled with specific chemicals — for monitoring biomedical conditions or for the selective delivery of drugs to certain organs or areas of the body. But one drawback of these systems is that the particles are small enough to be swept away from the initial site over time. The new system involves a different kind of microparticle that can avoid this problem.

為了監測生物醫學狀況,或選擇性將藥物遞送到人體固定器官或區域,諸多研究人員曾研發出充滿特定化學物質之以中空微粒子為基礎的裝置。不過,此些裝置的一項缺點是,此些粒子小得足以隨著時間推移,而從最初的位置被清走。上述新方法涉及了,能避開此問題的不同種類微粒子。

 

While traditional particles are spherical, the new particles are shaped like long tubes. The tubes’ narrow width, which is comparable to that of the previously studied microparticles, keeps the tubes’ contents in close proximity to blood or body tissue, making it easy for the particles to sense and respond to chemical or other conditions in their surroundings. The tubes’ relatively greater length keeps the tubes very well anchored in place for long-term monitoring, perhaps for months on end.

儘管傳統粒子是球形,此些新粒子狀若長管子。此些管子比得上先前經研究之微粒子的狹窄寬度,使管子內含物保持非常接近於血液或身體組織的狀態,使得此些粒子易於感知及對周遭環境中的化學物質或其他狀態作出反應。此些管子相對較長的長度,使得它們極適合被固定於,可能持續達數個月之長期監測的地方。

 

The particles eventually could be used to monitor the glucose levels of diabetics or the salt levels of those with a condition that can cause swings in blood salt concentrations.

最終,此些粒子可能被用來監測糖尿病患者的血糖含量,或那些具一種會導致血鹽濃度改變之疾病患者的鹽含量。

 

The new findings are being reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in a paper published online in January and soon to appear in the print version. It was co-authored by Karen Gleason, the Alexander and I. Michael Kasser Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT; Heather Clark, professor of pharmaceutical science at Northeastern University; MIT postdoctoral researcher Gozde Ozaydin-Ince; and Northeastern doctoral student J. Matthew Dubach.

該項研究論文發表於《美國國家科學院院刊》。合撰人包括麻省理工學院化學工程學教授Karen Gleason、東北大學藥劑學教授Heather Clark、麻省理工學院博士後研究員Gozde Ozaydin-Ince及東北大學博士生J. Matthew Dubach

 

The process of creating the new nanoparticles is an offshoot of Gleason’s work on a method of coating materials by vaporizing the coating material and letting it deposit on a surface to be coated. In work published last month, she and her co-workers had shown that this technique — called chemical vapor deposition (CVD) — could be used to coat a material containing microscopic pores, thus making the pores even smaller and giving them a surface that could respond to the chemical properties of materials passing through them.

產生此些奈米粒子的方法,是Gleason研究有關藉由氣化塗料,並使其沉積於將被塗層表面的一種衍生方法。在上個月(20111)發表的一項研究中,Gleason及其共同研究員們已經證實,該被稱為化學氣相沉積(CVD)的技術,能被用來塗抹具有微細孔洞的材料,從而賦予即使更小孔洞,也能對通過之物質化學屬性作出反應的表面。

 

This new work uses CVD to coat an aluminum oxide layer that has been etched to contain tiny pores, and, as in the previous work, the coating extends down onto the walls of these pores. But then the coated material itself is dissolved away, leaving just a series of hollow tubes.

該項使用化學氣相沉積技術,來塗抹已經被蝕刻出細小孔洞之氧化鋁層的新研究,結果如同先前的研究,塗抹向下延展進入此些孔洞內壁。之後,經塗抹的材料本體被溶解掉,僅留下此些孔洞造成的一連串中空管子。

 

Before that, though, another material can be added — something that responds to the environment, or a drug to be delivered, for example. The tubes are then capped at either end.

不過,在那之前,能添加另一種材料。譬如,對環境或被遞送之藥物作出反應的東西。之後,密封此些管子的任一端。

 

Gleason explains that these “microworms” can then be injected under the skin to form a fluorescent “tattoo.” By filling the tiny hollow tubes with a material that fluoresces — that is, emits light of a particular color — in response to the presence of a specific chemical, “the degree of fluorescence provides continuous physiological monitoring of a specific chemical” in the body, and can be monitored right through the skin.

Gleason解釋,之後此些微蟲狀物能被注入皮下,來形成發螢光之紋身的花紋。她宣稱:「藉由使用對存在之特定化學物質作出反應時,發出特定色彩螢光的物質,來填充此些細小中空管子。螢光度能透過皮膚立即被監測,而提供身體內特定化學物質的持續生理監測

 

The light emitted by the fluorescing chemical “is visible to the human eye, and thus can be directly interpreted by the patient without the need for bulky monitors,” she says.

她宣稱:「由螢光化學物質發出的光是人類眼睛可見的,因此無需笨重的顯示器,能直接由病人進行判讀。」

 

While the initial microworms were made to detect salt levels, and were successfully tested in mice, there are a variety of potential applications, Gleason says. One significant possibility is measuring glucose levels:

Gleason表示,儘管此些微蟲狀物最初被製造來偵測鹽含量,且在老鼠中測試成功。不過有各種潛在應用,一種意義重大的可能性是測量血糖含量:

 

“Tight control over glucose levels can help individuals stave off the devastating side-effects of diabetes, the number one cause of kidney failure, blindness in adults, nervous system damage, and amputations and also a major risk factor for heart failure, stroke and birth defects,” she says. Diabetes currently affects more than 20 million people in the U.S., and that is expected to double in 25 years.

她宣稱:「嚴格控制血糖能有助於個人防止,糖尿病在成年人中之腎衰竭及失明的首要原因、神經系統損傷及截肢,同時也是心臟衰竭、中風及先天缺陷等主要風險因子的毀滅性副作用。」當前,於美國糖尿病侵襲多於2千萬人,而且預估於25年內倍增。

 

The tubes are so tiny — about 200 nanometers across, or less than one-hundredth the width of a human hair — that “the body doesn’t even think they’re there,” Gleason says, allowing them to operate in “stealth mode” without triggering any physical response.

Gleason表示,此些管子很細小(直徑大約200奈米,也就是不及人類頭髮的1/100),以至於身體甚至不覺得它們的存在,這使它們得以在不引發任何身體反應的隱形模式下運作。

 

Raoul Kopelman, the Richard Smalley Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry, Physics and Applied Physics and Research Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan, calls this “high quality work by an expert team,” and says, “In principle, this could open the way for avoiding blood tests, which need a central lab, expert nurses, extra time and extra costs. It could be done in a doctor's office, or even at home. It will also avoid complications for patients with ‘difficult,’ or ‘used-up’ veins, patients on blood thinners, etc.”

召集該項由一支專家團隊進行之高品質研究美國密西根大學化學、物理暨應用物理學傑出教授暨生物醫學工程學研究教授,Raoul Kopelman宣稱:「基本上,這可能開啟避免需要化驗室、經驗豐富的護士、額外時間及成本之血液檢驗的方法。這能在醫生診療室,或甚至於家中進行。就不易進行靜脈抽血、服用血液等稀釋劑等患者而言,也能避免諸多併發症。

 

However, he cautioned that “The biggest stumbling block is the safety factor, i.e. FDA approval. FDA might not only worry about long-term chemical toxicity and bio-elimination, but also about complications — i.e., could it trigger blood clots?”

不過,他警告:「最大的絆腳石是美國食品暨藥物管理局(FDA)核可的安全因素。美國食品暨藥物管理局可能不僅擔心長期的化學毒性及生物排除(藉由生物化學活動,特別是從含水溶液中,移除物質),而且擔心併發症,譬如,會引發血液凝塊?」

 

In addition to the fact that these microworms stay in place when injected into the body, their manufacturing process itself provides a significant advantage, Gleason says. Because CVD is a standard manufacturing method used in the semiconductor industry, the manufacture of these devices should be relatively easy and inexpensive.

 

此些微蟲狀物除了被注入體內能停留於指定的位置之外,其製造過程本身也提供了顯著的優勢。因為化學氣相沉積是半導體工業使用的標準製造方法,此些裝置的製造應相對容易且低廉。

 

Gleason says, “One can imagine using these kinds of tubes to shrink-wrap just about anything,” including drugs that could be delivered slowly over time through small openings in the tubes.

Gleason表示,「人們可以想像,使用此類管子來收縮包裝幾乎任何物質」,包括能透過此些管子的小孔洞,隨時間推移緩慢被遞送的藥物。

 

 

原文網址:http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/update-microworms-0217.html

翻譯:許東榮

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