GE nets NIH $4M for fluorescent nerve agent, imaging system

GE Global Research has been awarded a four-year, $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to be directed to the optimization of a new nerve labeling agent and imaging system.

The nerve agent could help surgeons visualize delicate nerve endings that are prone to damage during certain procedures, including prostate surgery, said Cristina Tan Hehir, project leader and biochemist at the research center’s biosciences labs.

Researchers already developed the nerve labeling agent, a fluorescent molecule that localizes to myelin and illuminates under an optical imaging system. The development of a prototype imaging system is underway and could facilitate surgical management, as well as improve patient outcomes, said GE.