NanoEcho develops a new medical imaging method called magnet motor ultrasound. The innovative height of the project is to utilise nanotechnology in combination with modern ultrasound technology to improve cancer detection.

A nanoparticle-based contrast agent is used to clearly highlight the affected lymph nodes and get an idea of whether they contain metastases. By combining a magnetic field with diagnostic ultrasound in a new way, the already cost-effective ultrasound technology can be extended to completely new areas of application for tumour spread analysis and treatment efficacy.

The technology also provides a future opportunity for so-called molecular imaging where the contract agent can be prepared with tumour seeking-molecules and only the diseased tissue is imaged.  

Today’s medical imaging technology provides the doctor with invaluable guidance for diagnosis and treatment, but generally only once a tumour has reached a certain size for example. With molecular imaging the disease can be detected at a much earlier stage, perhaps up to a decade, and early detection of changes is the key to better treatment and longer survival. 

The types of contrast agents used today for ultrasound lack this ability as they don’t leave the bloodstream, which is why NanoEcho’s technology is a strong candidate for future molecular imaging with ultrasound. NanoEcho’s technology is based on new hardware and software in an ultrasonic scanner in combination with superparamagnetic iron oxidant-based nanoparticles. 

Advantages of the technology:

At least five times better resolution of the pictures than MRI

Clear border between cancerous tissue and healthy tissue (with contrast)

Easier and more portable than MRI

Can be used bedside