“The nanoparticles, thought to be completely nontoxic, could some day be used as a simple, all-purpose diagnostic tool to detect the earliest stages of any disease that involves chronic inflammation — everything from cancer and Alzheimer’s to heart disease and arthritis.”
Sounds good enough until one discovers that the “NEEDLE” is used for introducing the nanoparticles that high light the problem molecules which indicate trouble or that a disease process is underway.
If I had a preference, I would opt for a non-invasive or transcutaneous procedure to detect disease processes. To some degree spectral analysis of elements and certain molecules is already part of modern medicine. Expanding on this rudimentary technology seems in order and in need of funding.
Pulse oximetry is such a non-invasive procedure which uses the light absorption characteristics of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin to help a health care provider determine an oxygen saturation level of a person who has a respiratory ailment that inhibits proper cell oxygenation.
In short, the pulse oximeter monitors the difference between the visible red and the infrared spectral return from the capillary bed it is placed on; a microprocessor calculates the variance received on its sensor, and this event returns an oxygen saturation level of the person’s blood pulsing through their capillary bed. Treatment is then partially weighed accordingly.
This same technique could be further developed toward greater sensitivity yielding greater accuracy for the health care providers diagnostic testing. The nanoparticles may be better tuned (constructed) or used toward refining the non-invasive instrument for diagnostic testing. The nuclear magnetic resonance device now used may be better tuned toward a higher sensitivity instead of remaining a blunt instrument it is while sensing molecular body structures.
An intrusive poke here and a poke there alarms the body into reacting to a foreign invader – The needle to start with.
If I may be so bold, “Let’s refine that diagnostic scan, instead, to be more definitive in the diagnostic procedure.”