New Technology Will Be Able to Pinpoint A Blood Clot in One Scan

Researchers have successfully developed a new blood clot probe that can pinpoint the exact location of a blood clot in one scan in lab rats. Though the new technology will continue to be tested for the next few years before use in human patients, the initial results have been promising.

New Technology Pinpoints Blood Clot’s Exact Location in One Scan

Each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans die from blood clots, a serious health complication that can be treated if found early enough. However, doctors cannot provide treatment until the clot’s specific location is known. While there are currently methods to finding blood clots by using ultrasounds and magnetic resonance imaging MRI, these techniques are limited to scanning only specific area at a time, creating a slow process, delayed treatments, and increased risk of health problems.

New Technology Will Be Able to Pinpoint A Blood Clot in One Scan - Clapway

But today at the 250th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), researchers will present the latest findings on a new method that has been tested in laboratory rats that will allow physicians to scan the entire body in one shot.

Peter Caravan and his team from the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital believe this new technology will be more efficient and effective by showing the clot’s location and allowing doctors to access and implement the best treatment option before risks increase.

How The New Blood Clot Probe FBP8 Will Work

Different treatments have different efficacies depending on the location of the blood clot. For a quicker diagnosis, Caravan’s team was looking for a way to scan the whole body in one scan rather than rely on multiple scans of multiple locations, which take time and may not locate the clot fast enough.

While working at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Caravan’s team had previously identified a specific peptide that would bind to fibrin, a protein found in blood clots. Using this information, the team devised a way to attach a radionuclide to the peptide. What’s so important about attaching radionuclides to peptides?

Through a positron emission tomography (PET) scan, radionuclides are visible no matter where they are in the body. Of course the researchers experimented with different peptide-radionuclide combinations to find the best indicator in the PET scan.

In layman’s terms, they found a way to basically track down and provide GPS coordinates within the patient’s body to find the blood clot.

More Testing Before Approval of Blood Clot Probe For Human Patients

Caravan’s team constructed 15 different probes and analyzed each to detect a blood clot in lab rats. While some probes were better at binding to fibrin in the test tube, others proved more successful in the live trial with the rats.

New Technology Will Be Able to Pinpoint A Blood Clot in One Scan -- Clapway

The researchers attribute the different performances of the effects of metabolism, where the stronger probes were more resistant to breaking down and were better at binding to the clots.

The best candidate turned out to be the eighth probe tested, called FBP8. This fibrin binding probe used the radionuclide of copper-64. And while all this may sound too science-oriented, the main takeaway is that this specific probe is moving to the next phase of research.

The team is hopeful to start testing in the fall this year using human patients. If successful, it may be implemented on a wider scale within the next five years, potentially changing the game and future for patients who suffer from a blood clot.

Image Credit from findings to Peter Caravan
Title Picture Credit to Tess Watson
Additional Image Credit to NEC Corporation of America

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