16 January 2008

Nanotech Cancer Blitz

Nanotech researchers are taking many different approaches to designing novel cancer therapies.

The "smart bomb" approach actually uses nano-explosives to "shock" cancer cells into taking their medicine.
The power of these nano explosives could lead to a breakthrough in drug delivery for cancer and HIV, the researchers explain. First, drugs would be administered with a needle as usual, dispersing through the entire body. But then a hand-held device aimed at the tumor would send a pulse into the tumor. The shock waves created by the pulse would make tiny holes in the cells it was aimed at, allowing the drug to enter the tumor cells. Further, the force of the shock waves would push the drugs to those cells within milliseconds.

The researchers have tested the method on animal tissue, and have demonstrated a 99% success rate – almost all of the cells have properly accepted the drugs....“In conventional explosives, shock waves are generated during detonation,” she [Gangopadhyay] says. “In nanothermites, fast propagating chemical reactions can create shock waves without detonation.” Generating shock waves without detonation is the key to this technology, she says.

Nanotubes can serve as nano-hypos for inserting cancer drugs directly into tumour cells.

Nanomagnets can attach to cell membrane receptors, allowing "remote control" of internal cell processes at will.

Gold nanoparticles can hunt down and signal the presence of cancer cells, using dyes that absorb and emit light in near infrared, to allow signals to pass unimpeded through biological tissues.

The California Nanosystems Institute (at UCLA) is developing several nanomachines for use in on-demand delivery of cancer drugs to tumours.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts