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Images develop clinical applications for new DESI technology

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University researchers have created the first two-dimensional images of biological samples using a new mass spectrometry technique that furthers the technology's potential applications for the detection of diseases such as cancer.

The technology, desorption electrospray ionization, or DESI, measures characteristic chemical markers that distinguish diseased from non-diseased regions of tissue samples within a few seconds and has eliminated the need for samples to be treated with chemicals and specially contained.

This tool has a wide range of applications and could be used in the future to address many medical issues, said Graham Cooks, Purdue's Henry B. Hass Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry in whose lab DESI was developed.

"This technology could be used to aid surgeons in precisely and completely removing cancerous tissue," he said. "With these images, we can see the exact location of tumor masses and can detect cancerous sites that are indistinguishable to the naked eye."

Current surgical methods rely on the trained eye of a pathologist who views stained tissue slices under a microscope to assess what tissue must be removed.

This study was the first to take the graphical data presented by DESI mass spectrometry and turn it into a two-dimensional image of the tissue, said Demian Ifa, a member of Cooks' research team.

"The ability to produce an image is a great advance," he said. "It is much more practical to have an image that can quickly and easily be interpreted. It brings the technology much closer to being ready for the clinical setting."

A paper detailing the study has been selected as a "very important paper" by the journal Angewandte Chemie and is currently posted online. Cooks, Ifa, Justin Wiseman, and Qingyu Song, all from Purdue's Department of Chemistry, authored the paper, which will be featured on the cover of the print publication. Less than 5
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Contact: Elizabeth K. Gardner
ekgardner@purdue.edu
765-494-2081
Purdue University
5-Oct-2006


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