Brain Probe Developed to Examine Drug Dangers—21 July 2016

A new optical-fibre based probe has been developed at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP), allowing localised temperature-changes deep inside the brain to be measured. The probe will help researchers to better understand the complex biochemical pathways in the brain, specifically in relation to drug use.

Stefan Musolino, PhD candidate based at CNBP, said that the temperature probe could track temperature changes in the brain, allowing researchers to better understand what is happening across neuronal and inflammatory pathways.

“There is a need to understand how the brain works, whether it be for the testing of new medical treatments or for better understanding the toxicological impacts of drug-taking, which can obviously lead to adverse health outcomes.”

Dr Erik Schartner, CNBP researcher, said that the probe is able to track the brain’s reaction to drugs such as MDMA, or to potential medical treatments.

“We can measure localised brain temperature to a level of plus or minus 0.1 degrees Celsius. This is important as the brain is the most temperature sensitive organ in the body, and even small deviations in temperature can have a significant effect on wellbeing.”

  

Media Release: The University of Adelaide

Image: Man X-ray
Image courtesy: iStock/cosmin4000

Original Published Date: 
Thursday, July 21, 2016