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可以在体内漫游寻找癌细胞的小颗粒

This tiny particle could roam your body to find tumors | Sangeeta Bhatia

在以前 可以放置一个晶体管的空间
In the space that used to house one transistor,
现在可以放10亿个
we can now fit one billion.
这导致曾经占据了一整个房间的电脑
That made it so that a computer the size of an entire room
现在可以放在你的口袋里
now fits in your pocket.
也许你会说 未来东西都会越来越小
You might say the future is small.
作为一个工程师
As an engineer,
我受到了电脑微型化的启发
I’m inspired by this miniaturization revolution in computers.
作为一名医生
As a physician,
我想知道我们可否用 这个技术挽救更多的生命
I wonder whether we could use it to reduce the number of lives lost
他们都死于地球上蔓延最快的疾病之一 癌症
due to one of the fastest-growing diseases on Earth: cancer.
现在当我提到这个
Now when I say that,
许多人认为我说的是我们在研究治愈癌症
what most people hear me say is that we’re working on curing cancer.
我们的确是
And we are.
但是结果是
But it turns out
通过早期的侦测和预防癌症
that there’s an incredible opportunity to save lives
就会有极大的机会拯救生命
through the early detection and prevention of cancer.
在全球 用我们今天已有的技术 超过三分之二因癌症导致的死亡
Worldwide, over two-thirds of deaths due to cancer are fully preventable
都是完全可以避免的
using methods that we already have in hand today.
包括疫苗接种 定期筛查
Things like vaccination, timely screening
当然还有 停止抽烟
and of course, stopping smoking.
但是就算使用如今我们拥有的 最先进的工具和手段
But even with the best tools and technologies that we have today,
一些肿瘤仍然无法被探测到
some tumors can’t be detected
直到它们已经生长了十年才被发现
until 10 years after they’ve started growing,
这时已经积累了5000万的癌细胞了
when they are 50 million cancer cells strong.
要是我们有更好的技术
What if we had better technologies
能更快检测到致命的癌细胞
to detect some of these more deadly cancers sooner,
可能是在癌细胞还可以被铲除时检测到
when they could be removed,
或是在癌细胞刚刚产生时检测到
when they were just getting started?
让我来告诉你们微型技术如何可能让我们如愿
Let me tell you about how miniaturization might get us there.
这是一个普通实验室中的显微镜
This is a microscope in a typical lab
病理学家用它观察组织标本
that a pathologist would use for looking at a tissue specimen,
就像活体切片或巴氏涂片
like a biopsy or a pap smear.
这个7000美元的显微镜
This $7,000 microscope
可以被受过几年专业训练的人
would be used by somebody with years of specialized training
用来检测癌细胞
to spot cancer cells.
这张图片来自于我莱斯大学的同事
This is an image from a colleague of mine at Rice University,
丽贝卡·理查兹科图姆
Rebecca Richards-Kortum.
她和她的团队实现了微缩这整个显微镜
What she and her team have done is miniaturize that whole microscope
到这个价值10美金的部件中
into this $10 part,
可以把它安装在光纤的一端
and it fits on the end of an optical fiber.
这意味着无需在患者身上取得一个样本
Now what that means is instead of taking a sample from a patient
并送到显微镜下检查
and sending it to the microscope,
你可以直接就把显微镜带入病人体内
you can bring the microscope to the patient.
并且 不用要求一个专业领域的人来观察这个图像
And then, instead of requiring a specialist to look at the images,
你直接可以训练电脑去比对正常和癌变的细胞
you can train the computer to score normal versus cancerous cells.
这一点很重要
Now this is important,
因为他们发现在农村地区工作
because what they found working in rural communities,
就算他们有移动的检查车
is that even when they have a mobile screening van
可以走进农村进行检查
that can go out into the community and perform exams
并且收集样本
and collect samples
传输样本到中心医院进行分析
and send them to the central hospital for analysis,
几天之后
that days later,
女性们接到一个异常测试结果的电话
women get a call with an abnormal test result
并被要求来医院
and they’re asked to come in.
有一半的人不会出现 因为她们无法支付路费
Fully half of them don’t turn up because they can’t afford the trip.
有了集成显微镜和计算机分析技术
With the integrated microscope and computer analysis,
丽贝卡和她的同事研发了同时具有
Rebecca and her colleagues have been able to create a van
诊断装置和治疗装置的医疗车
that has both a diagnostic setup and a treatment setup.
这意味着他们可以当场进行诊断
And what that means is that they can do a diagnosis
和实施治疗
and perform therapy on the spot,
每个病人都不会错过跟踪治疗
so no one is lost to follow up.
这只是一个关于微型化如何拯救生命的例子
That’s just one example of how miniaturization can save lives.
作为工程师
Now as engineers,
我们认为这个就是直接微型化
we think of this as straight-up miniaturization.
你带来一个大东西并且把它变小
You took a big thing and you made it little.
但是我之前提到了电脑
But what I told you before about computers
改变了我们的生活
was that they transformed our lives
它们小到我们可以随身携带
when they became small enough for us to take them everywhere.
那么在药物领域 等效的转换会是什么样的呢?
So what is the transformational equivalent like that in medicine?
如果你有一个探测器
Well, what if you had a detector
它小到可以在你的体内循环
that was so small that it could circulate in your body,
自己找到肿瘤
find the tumor all by itself
并向外面的世界传送信号会怎样呢?
and send a signal to the outside world?
这听起来有点像科幻小说
It sounds a little bit like science fiction.
但是实际上 运用纳米技术就能实现
But actually, nanotechnology allows us to do just that.
纳米技术可以让我们缩小探测器组成部分的尺寸
Nanotechnology allows us to shrink the parts that make up the detector
从到发丝的宽度的大小
from the width of a human hair,
也就是100微米
which is 100 microns,
到再小1000倍的尺度
to a thousand times smaller,
也就是100纳米
which is 100 nanometers.
这就极大的扩展了应用范围
And that has profound implications.
实际上在纳米级别尺寸的时候
It turns out that materials actually change their properties
材料的性质会发生改变
at the nanoscale.
你拿一个常见的金属比如金
You take a common material like gold,
把它研磨成灰 研磨成纳米颗粒
and you grind it into dust, into gold nanoparticles,
它就会从金色外表变成红色
and it changes from looking gold to looking red.
如果你拿一个比较稀有的 材料比如硒化镉——
If you take a more exotic material like cadmium selenide —
会形成一块大的黑色晶体——
forms a big, black crystal —
如果你用这种材料做成纳米结晶
if you make nanocrystals out of this material
然后把它放入液体中
and you put it in a liquid,
用光照一下 它们就会发光
and you shine light on it, they glow.
它们可以发出蓝绿黄橙红不同的光
And they glow blue, green, yellow, orange, red,
仅仅根据尺寸的不同而变化
depending only on their size.
这太疯狂了你可以想象宏观世界有这种材料么
It’s wild! Can you imagine an object like that in the macro world?
这就像你衣橱里所有的棉质牛仔裤
It would be like all the denim jeans in your closet are all made of cotton,
依据尺寸不同 颜色也会不一样
but they are different colors depending only on their size.
[笑声]
[Laughter]
作为一位医生
So as a physician,
让我感兴趣的
what’s just as interesting to me
不仅仅是材料的颜色
is that it’s not just the color of materials
在纳米尺寸会改变
that changes at the nanoscale;
它们在人体内运动的方式也将改变
the way they travel in your body also changes.
这也是一种我们即将使用的观察方式
And this is the kind of observation that we’re going to use
用来制造更好的癌症检测装置
to make a better cancer detector.
下面我来解释一下
So let me show you what I mean.
这是一条人体的血管
This is a blood vessel in the body.
包裹着血管的就是肿瘤
Surrounding the blood vessel is a tumor.
我们将要把纳米颗粒注射进血管
We’re going to inject nanoparticles into the blood vessel
并观察它们如何随着血流进入肿瘤
and watch how they travel from the bloodstream into the tumor.
事实证明有许多肿瘤的血管是有漏洞的
Now it turns out that the blood vessels of many tumors are leaky,
所以纳米颗粒可以从血流渗漏到肿瘤中
and so nanoparticles can leak out from the bloodstream into the tumor.
它们是否能渗透出去取决于它们的尺寸
Whether they leak out depends on their size.
在这张图中
So in this image,
较小的百纳米尺寸的蓝色纳米颗粒正在渗漏至血管外
the smaller, hundred-nanometer, blue nanoparticles are leaking out,
大一点的500纳米的红色颗粒
and the larger, 500-nanometer, red nanoparticles
被困在了血管中
are stuck in the bloodstream.
所以这对于工程师来说
So that means as an engineer,
取决于我所制造的材料的大小
depending on how big or small I make a material,
我可以控制它能够去你身体里的哪一部分
I can change where it goes in your body.
在我的实验室 我们最近研制出了一种癌症纳米检测器
In my lab, we recently made a cancer nanodetector
小到可以进入全身血液循环并寻找肿瘤
that is so small that it could travel into the body and look for tumors.
我们设计它用于监听肿瘤的侵袭
We designed it to listen for tumor invasion:
即肿瘤扩散所需释放的化学信号
the orchestra of chemical signals that tumors need to make to spread.
一个肿瘤脱离孕育它的组织时
For a tumor to break out of the tissue that it’s born in,
它需要产生一种叫做酶的化学物质
it has to make chemicals called enzymes
来分解组织的组成结构
to chew through the scaffolding of tissues.
我们设计了这些会被酶激发的纳米颗粒
We designed these nanoparticles to be activated by these enzymes.
一个酶每小时可激发一千个这种化学反应
One enzyme can activate a thousand of these chemical reactions in an hour.
用工程术语来描述的话 我们叫它1比1000的
Now in engineering, we call that one-to-a-thousand ratio
放大比例
a form of amplification,
这就形成了一种超级灵敏的东西
and it makes something ultrasensitive.
所以我们已经做了一个超灵敏的癌症检测器
So we’ve made an ultrasensitive cancer detector.
好的 但我如何把这激发信号传递到外界
OK, but how do I get this activated signal to the outside world,
好方便对其进行分析呢
where I can act on it?
针对这个问题 我们将采用另一项纳米生物技术
For this, we’re going to use one more piece of nanoscale biology,
与肾脏有关
and that has to do with the kidney.
肾脏就是一个过滤装置
The kidney is a filter.
它的工作是把血液中的废物过滤进尿液
Its job is to filter out the blood and put waste into the urine.
事实发现肾脏过滤的物质
It turns out that what the kidney filters
也取决于(过滤物)的大小
is also dependent on size.
所以在这个图中 你可以看到
So in this image, what you can see
所有小于5纳米的东西
is that everything smaller than five nanometers
都会从血液 穿过肾 进入尿液
is going from the blood, through the kidney, into the urine,
其他所有更大尺寸的会留下来
and everything else that’s bigger is retained.
好 那如果我制造一个100纳米的癌症检测装置
OK, so if I make a 100-nanometer cancer detector,
注射到血流中
I inject it in the bloodstream,
它可以渗漏到肿瘤并被肿瘤的酶激发
it can leak into the tumor where it’s activated by tumor enzymes
释放出很小的信号
to release a small signal
小到可以被肾脏过滤出来
that is small enough to be filtered out of the kidney
并进入尿液中
and put into the urine,
我就有了一个可以在体外探测到的信号
I have a signal in the outside world that I can detect.
好 但是还有另一个问题
OK, but there’s one more problem.
这是个小而微弱的信号
This is a tiny little signal,
我怎么来检测它?
so how do I detect it?
实际上 信号就是一个分子
Well, the signal is just a molecule.
它们是我们工程师设计的分子
They’re molecules that we designed as engineers.
它们完全人工合成并且我们可以设计它们
They’re completely synthetic, and we can design them
所以它们和我们选用的工具相匹配
so they are compatible with our tool of choice.
如果我们想使用一种非常灵敏先进的仪器
If we want to use a really sensitive, fancy instrument
叫做质谱仪
called a mass spectrometer,
那我们可以让这个分子有一个独特的质量
then we make a molecule with a unique mass.
或者我们也许想要研制出一种更加便宜和便于携带的分析方式
Or maybe we want make something that’s more inexpensive and portable.
那我们就制造出可以滞留在纸上的分子
Then we make molecules that we can trap on paper,
就像测孕试纸
like a pregnancy test.
实际上试纸的应用已经非常广泛
In fact, there’s a whole world of paper tests
以至于专门形成了试纸诊断领域
that are becoming available in a field called paper diagnostics.
那好 我们现在进展如何呢?
Alright, where are we going with this?
我接下来要告诉你们的
What I’m going to tell you next,
作为一个终身的研究人员
as a lifelong researcher,
它代表了我的一个梦想
represents a dream of mine.
我不敢说那是一个诺言
I can’t say that’s it’s a promise;
这是一个梦想
it’s a dream.
但是我想我们都应该有梦想来鞭策我们前行
But I think we all have to have dreams to keep us pushing forward,
甚至——并且可能尤其是针对癌症的研究者
even — and maybe especially — cancer researchers.
我将告诉你们我所希望用我的技术会发生的
I’m going to tell you what I hope will happen with my technology,
我和我的团队将不遗余力
that my team and I will put our hearts and souls
让它变成现实
into making a reality.
说做就做
OK, here goes.
我希望有一天
I dream that one day,
不需要昂贵的筛选设备
instead of going into an expensive screening facility
来进行结肠镜检查
to get a colonoscopy,
或乳房X线照片
or a mammogram,
或制作帕氏涂片
or a pap smear,
而是只需要扎一针
that you could get a shot,
等一个小时
wait an hour,
在试纸上进行一个尿检
and do a urine test on a paper strip.
我期待甚至可以不需要
I imagine that this could even happen
稳定的电力供应
without the need for steady electricity,
或者一位医务工作者呆在诊室
or a medical professional in the room.
也许他们在很远的地方
Maybe they could be far away
只通过智能手机上的图像进行联系
and connected only by the image on a smartphone.
现在我知道这听起来不太现实
Now I know this sounds like a dream,
但是在实验室中我们已经在老鼠体内取得了进展
but in the lab we already have this working in mice,
它对于肺癌、结肠癌和卵巢癌的检测结果
where it works better than existing methods
比现行的任何一种方法都要好
for the detection of lung, colon and ovarian cancer.
我希望这意味着
And I hope that what this means
有一天我们可以很快检查出病人体内的肿瘤
is that one day we can detect tumors in patients
不必等到十年后它们已成型
sooner than 10 years after they’ve started growing,
在各行各业
in all walks of life,
全球各地都是如此
all around the globe,
这也会让更早期的治疗成为现实
and that this would lead to earlier treatments,
我们可以比现在拯救更多的生命
and that we could save more lives than we can today,
只需依赖早期检测
with early detection.
谢谢
Thank you.
[掌声]
(Applause)

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视频概述

癌症夺走了许多人的生命,又让许多得病的人痛不欲生,全世界的科学家们都有在研究癌细胞,找出治疗的方法。如果能有一种方法,早一点检测出癌细胞,那将会对治愈癌症有着极大的帮助。本视频从检测癌细胞的角度出发,向人们介绍了一种方法,相信不远的将来,能发挥出非常重要的作用

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

白小白

审核员

Ah~Qiu

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bphPa7Wp4c

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