An Indian-origin scientist in Germany has discovered a new, unexpected role for green tea – to improve the image quality of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) testing.
Sanjay Mathur, director of the institute of inorganic chemistry at University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany, successfully used compounds from green tea to help image cancer tumours in mice.
Using a simple, one-step process, Mathur and his team coated iron-oxide nanoparticles with green-tea compounds called catechins and administered them to mice with cancer.
MRIs demonstrated that the novel imaging agents gathered in tumour cells and showed a strong contrast from surrounding non-tumour cells.
“The catechin-coated nanoparticles are promising candidates for use in MRIs and related applications,” Mathur said in his paper that appeared in journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
Recent research has revealed the potential usefulness of nanoparticles – iron oxide in particular – to make biomedical imaging better. But the nanoparticles have their disadvantages.
They tend to cluster together easily and need help getting to their destinations in the body. To address these issues, researchers have recently tried attaching natural nutrients to the nanoparticles.
Mathur’s team wanted to see if compounds from green tea, which research suggests has anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties, could play this role.
An MRI is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to create pictures of organs and structures inside the body.
Sanjay Mathur is the Director of the Institute of Inorganic and Materials Chemistry at the University of Cologne with research interest in chemical nanotechnologies with thrust on molecular routes to functional nanostructures for diversified applications ranging from biocompatible materials, nanotoxicology studies, engineered surfaces and new materials and devices for energy applications.
He holds five patents and has authored/ co-authored over 200 original research publications and book chapters. He serves as Associate Editors for International Journal of Applied Ceramics Technology, International Journal of Nanoscience and Nanomaterials. He is also on the Editorial Boards of journals Ceramics International, International Journal of Nanotechnology, Materials, Journal of Ceramic Science and Technology, Journal of Electroceramics and NanoEnergy.
He serves as the “International Ambassador” of the University of Cologne.
(With inputs from IANS)