Fluorescent Surgery Tattoo Made to Work For Skin Cancer Biopsy Treatments

Admin | Published 2016-12-29 19:10

Tattoos have been around in medical procedures especially in demarcating anatomical sites for surgery. But this semi-permanent ink for non-melanoma cancer patients tends to have adverse result, so scientists created an invisible ink that also disappears after some time.

This medical practice of tattooing patients may have undesirable effects such as defacement of the surface of the skin or the possible inflammation. It may also require laser or surgical removal which adds to the already problematic surgical scars gained after the surgery.

Scientists made an “ink” for marking surgery targets on the skin by combining a polymer (left) with fluorescence supramolecular nanoparticles (right).
Credit: Jin-sil Choi/Hsian-Rong Tseng

Scientists at University of California, Los Angeles developed a time-limited pigment with cross-linked fluorescent supramolecular nanoparticles. This ink is invisible in ambient light. It requires a wavelength of 465 nanometers for the ink markings to be visible and that takes a special light to do that. The important feature of this ink is that a test in mice showed that it does not cause an inflammation.

The ideal tattoo pigment for marking off skin biopsy sites requires invisibility under ambient light, fluorescence under a selective light source, a finite skin retention time and compatibility on the applied tissue.

The ink lasts around 3 months exactly the duration of the diagnostic biopsy through surgical treatment especially to non-melanoma type of cancers like basal cell carcinoma.

At least a patient will have one less problem after surgery.

The research is published in ACSNano. See: Finding Chemo? This Bio Chip Traps Cancer Cells Effortlessly!  
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