Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH MEDIA
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC

Nanocarrier Designed to Target Drug Delivery to Cancer Cells

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 13 Nov 2013
Image: The first-of-its-kind nanostructure is unusual because it can carry a variety of cancer-fighting materials on its double-sided “Janus” surface and within its porous interior Photo courtesy of UC’s Dr. Donglu Shi).
Image: The first-of-its-kind nanostructure is unusual because it can carry a variety of cancer-fighting materials on its double-sided “Janus” surface and within its porous interior Photo courtesy of UC’s Dr. Donglu Shi).
A novel nanostructure can, because of its dual-surface structure, serve as an improved “all-in-one tool” in the fight against cancer.

The nanostructure was developed by a team of international researchers, including those at the University of Cincinnati (UC; OH, USA), and has the potential to improve all-in-one detection, diagnoses, and drug-delivery treatment of cancer cells.

The first-of-its-kind nanostructure is remarkable because it can carry a range of cancer-fighting substance on its double-sided “Janus” surface and within its porous interior. Because of its unique structure, the nanocarrier can do all of the following: (1) Transport cancer-specific detection nanoparticles and biomarkers to a site within the body, e.g., the prostate or the breast. This promises earlier diagnosis than is possible with current applications. (2) Attach fluorescent marker materials to illuminate specific cancer cells, so that they are easier to find for treatment, whether drug delivery or surgery. (3) Deliver anticancer drugs for pinpoint targeted treatment of cancer cells, which should result in few drug side effects. Currently, a cancer treatment such as chemotherapy affects not only cancer cells but healthy cells as well, leading to serious and often incapacitating side effects.

This research’s findings were presented on October 30, 2013, at the annual Materials Science & Technology Conference in Montreal (QC, Canada). The Janus nanostructure is unusual in that, normally, these structures (much smaller than a single cell) have limited surface. This makes is difficult to carry multiple components, e.g., both cancer detection and drug-delivery materials. The Janus nanocomponent, on the other hand, has functionally and chemically distinct surfaces to allow it to carry multiple components in a single assembly and function in an intelligent manner.

“In this effort, we’re using existing basic nanosystems, such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, iron oxides, silica, quantum dots, and polymeric nanomaterials in order to create an all-in-one, multidimensional, and stable nanocarrier that will provide imaging, cell targeting, drug storage and intelligent, controlled drug release,” said UC’s Dr. Donglu Shi, adding that the nanocarrier’s potential is currently greatest for cancers that are close to the body’s surface, such as breast and prostate cancer.

If such nanotechnology can soon become the standard for cancer detection, it promises earlier, more rapid, and more effective diagnosis at lower cost than current technology. The most common technology used today in cancer diagnosis are magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); positron emission tomography (PET); and computed tomography (CT) imaging, however, they are expensive and time-consuming to use.

Furthermore, when it comes to drug delivery, nanotechnology such as the Janus structure would better regulate the drug dose, since that dose would be targeted to cancer cells. In this way, anticancer drugs could be used much more effectively, which would lower the total amount of drug administered.

Related Links:

University of Cincinnati



Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: The photo shows a mouse pancreatic islet as seen by light microscopy. Beta cells can be recognized by the green insulin staining. Glucagon is labeled in red and the nuclei in blue (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Regenerative Potential Is a Trait of Mature Tissues, Not an Innate Feature of Newly Born Cells

Diabetes researchers have found that the ability of insulin-producing beta cells to replicate and respond to elevated glucose concentrations is absent in very young animals and does not appear until after weaning.... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Wafers like the one shown here are used to create “organ-on-a-chip” devices to model human tissue (Photo courtesy of Dr. Anurag Mathur, University of California, Berkeley).

Human Heart-on-a-Chip Cultures May Replace Animal Models for Drug Development and Safety Screening

Human heart cells growing in an easily monitored silicon chip culture system may one day replace animal-based model systems for drug development and safety screening. Drug discovery and development... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel
Image:  Model depiction of a novel cellular mechanism by which regulation of cryptochromes Cry1 and Cry2 enables coordination of a protective transcriptional response to DNA damage caused by genotoxic stress (Photo courtesy of the journal eLife, March 2015, Papp SJ, Huber AL, et al.).

Two Proteins Critical for Circadian Cycles Protect Cells from Mutations

Scientists have discovered that two proteins critical for maintaining healthy day-night cycles also have an unexpected role in DNA repair and protecting cells against genetic mutations that could lead... Read more

Business

view channel

Roche Acquires Signature Diagnostics to Advance Translational Research

Roche (Basel, Switzerland) will advance translational research for next generation sequencing (NGS) diagnostics by leveraging the unique expertise of Signature Diagnostics AG (Potsdam, Germany) in biobanks and development of novel NGS diagnostic assays. Signature Diagnostics is a privately held translational oncology... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2015 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.