Nanosurgical resection of malignant brain tumors: Beyond the cutting edge

James T. Rutka, Betty Kim, Arnold Etame, Roberto J. Diaz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Advances in surgical procedures and improvements in patient outcomes have resulted from applications of new technologies in the operating room over the past three decades. All surgeons would be excited about the possibilities of improving their resections of tumors for patients with cancer if a new technology were introduced to facilitate this. In this issue of ACS Nano, Karabeber et al. use a hand-held Raman scanner to probe the completeness of resection of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most malignant brain cancer, in a genetically engineered mouse model. They show that the hand-held scanner could accurately detect gold-silica surface-enhanced Raman scattering nanoparticles embedded within the GBM, resulting in a complete tumor resection. In this Perspective, we review potential applications of nanotechnologies to neurosurgery and describe how new systems, such as the one described in this issue, may be brought closer to the operating room through modifications in nanoparticle size, overcoming the obstacles presented by the blood-brain barrier, and functionalizing nanoparticle conjugates so that they reach their target at highest concentrations possible. Finally, with adaptations of the actual hand-held Raman scanner device itself, one can envision the day when "nanosurgical" procedures will be a part of the surgeons armamentarium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9716-9722
Number of pages7
JournalACS Nano
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 28 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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