Watkin's Paper Highlights Nanoparticles for Medical Imaging

Beckman Institute researcher Kenneth L. Watkin is investigating ways to treat head and neck cancers with less of the chemotoxins found with current chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

As part of his research, Watkin, a faculty member in the new Bioimaging Science and Technology group at Beckman, published a paper earlier this year in the journal Academic Radiology titled "Investigations into the Physicochemical Properties of Dextran Small Particulate Gadolinium Oxide Nanoparticles."

Watkin said the gadolinium oxide nanoparticles would act as tiny particles that target tumors for use as a medical imaging contrast agent and as an intervention agent for use with neutron capture therapy.

"The goal of my work within the Institute is to create advanced contrast imaging methods for both the diagnosis and treatment of disease, specifically cancer, that reduce the toxic effects that we see with our current treatments," Watkin said. "And to do that, we need to develop really, really, really small carriers."

Watkin said gadolinium oxide is excellent for use as an MRI imaging agent and potentially as a contrast agent for use with different imaging techniques such as computed tomography and ultrasound.

To read more about Professor Watkin and his work in this area, see story.