Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that are part of the body’s first line of defence against infection. Inside neutrophils are small granules that release enzymes when ‘activated’, designed to kill invading microorganisms. Elastase exists inside these granules. Neutrophils can also ingest microbes, other cells and foreign particles.
A unique feature of immune cells like neutrophils that have segmented nuclei is that they can eject their DNA to create a sticky net called a ‘Neutrophil Extracellular Trap’ (NET), which traps and kills foreign bodies in the blood. This process is called NETosis, during which the neutrophil is also destroyed.
The result of these attack mechanisms against intruders is inflammation in the affected area. Therefore, by using the NAP Smartprobe, clinicians will be able to directly see sites of inflammation in the body by highlighting where the neutrophils are.