Drug Delivery and Translational Research

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 116–124 | Cite as

Evans blue nanocarriers visually demarcate margins of invasive gliomas

  • Benjamin T. Roller
  • Jennifer M. Munson
  • Barunashish Brahma
  • Philip J. Santangelo
  • S. Balakrishna Pai
  • Ravi V. BellamkondaEmail author
Research Article


Aggressive surgical resection is the primary therapy for glioma. However, aggressive resection may compromise functional healthy brain tissue. Currently, there are no objective cues for surgeons to distinguish healthy tissue from tumor and determine tumor borders; surgeons skillfully rely on subjective means such as tactile feedback. This often results in incomplete resection and recurrence. The objective of the present study was to design, develop, and evaluate, in vitro and in vivo, a nanoencapsulated visible dye for intraoperative, visual delineation of tumor margins in an invasive tumor model. Liposomal nanocarriers containing Evans blue dye (nano-EB) were developed, characterized, and tested for safety in vitro and in vivo. 3RT1RT2A glioma cells were implanted into brains of Fischer 344 rats. Nano-EB or EB solution was injected via tail vein into tumor-bearing animals. To assess tumor staining, tissue samples were analyzed visibly and using fluorescence microscopy. Area, perimeter ratios, and Manders overlap coefficients were calculated to quantify extent of staining. Nano-EB clearly marked tumor margins in the invasive tumor model. Area ratio of nano-EB staining to tumor was 0.89 ± 0.05, perimeter ratio was 0.94 ± 0.04, Manders R was 0.51 ± 0.08, and M1 was 0.97 ± 0.06. Microscopic tumor border inspection under high magnification verified that nano-EB did not stain healthy tissue. Nano-EB clearly aids in distinguishing tumor tissue from healthy tissue in an invasive tumor model, while injection of unencapsulated EB results in false identification of healthy tissue as tumor due to diffusion of dye from the tumor into healthy tissue.


Nanocarriers Liposomes Tumor margin Tumor border Intraoperative MRI Tumor resection 



This work was funded by support from the Georgia Cancer Coalition and Ian’s Friends Foundation to RVB.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no financial interests relevant to the technologies or data published in this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Controlled Release Society 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin T. Roller
    • 1
  • Jennifer M. Munson
    • 1
  • Barunashish Brahma
    • 2
    • 3
  • Philip J. Santangelo
    • 1
  • S. Balakrishna Pai
    • 1
  • Ravi V. Bellamkonda
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Wallace H Coulter Department of Biomedical EngineeringGeorgia Institute of Technology and Emory School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurosurgeryChildren’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Emory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurosurgeryEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Wallace H Coulter Department of Biomedical EngineeringGeorgia Institute of Technology and Emory School of MedicineAtlantaUSA

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