Blue Jean Dye Kills Cancer Cells

The dye in your blue jeans could soon be used to kill cancer cells, say scientists.

UK researchers are employing tiny gold "nanoparticles", 1/5000th the thickness of a human hair, to deliver the chemical compound directly into cancer cells, tearing them apart instantly. The common dye found in blue jeans and ballpoint pens is called phthalocyanine and is a light-activated, or photosensitive, agent with cell-destroying properties.

This has been known for at least 15 years but, until now, scientists have not been able to successfully deliver it into cells; hence there's no harm in wearing blue jeans. The University of East Anglia (UEA) team used the gold particles as "trojan horses". Their small size enables them to easily enter cells, and the phthalocyanine is taken up along with them.

When pulsed with laser light, the compound produces a highly reactive form of oxygen which causes the cancer cells to commit suicide. UEA's Dr David Russell explained: "Because this compound does not dissolve in water, it is difficult to get it into cells. But this 'fat soluble' property is precisely what makes it a great potential therapy. "We have shown using nanotechnology that we can get phthalocyanine into the cancer cells where it binds and, on activation, causes substantial cell death," he told the British Association's Science Festival.

News source: BBC News

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41 Comments

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Oh gosh... scientist creating a fuss again!.

I wonder how much time will elapsed since people will think that wearing a bluejeans will help for cure the cancer.

Woot! I salute my fellow UEA bretheren!!! Ooh, damn, I graduated this year so I'm not an Alumni, not a student!

UEA rocks!!

Good old UEA!!! I will be following this! I have medicine ppl in my flat at UEA, I ll see if i can find out anymore!!!

Quote - enzo said @ #3.4
so... 5 years and cancer is cured?

That's great and all, but it isn't going to hit mainstream. Even if someone had found a damn cure for cancer, it wouldn't reach hospitals and it will just disintegrate into thin air. The drug companys are smarter than that: their already making billions of dollars just treating it.

Quote - Lt-DavidW said @ #15
Great news!! What's this doing on Neowin?

Its technology related news.. and it is pretty high-profile.

Quote - MkNawabi said @ #15.1

Its technology related news.. and it is pretty high-profile.

Then I imagine Bill Gates is already thinking about how he can buy it and license it................

Quote - megapril said @ #15.2

Then I imagine Bill Gates is already thinking about how he can buy it and license it................

And then restrict the use per session....thus increasing demand, and subsequent increases in pricing. Given time, Upgrades and security patches can be provided to make consumers feel safe and secure, thus leading to more buying and global monopolization. The Steve Job versions will be more limited to teh leet users, and have more attractive packaging causing those consumers to think differently.

but, due to ctga (cancer treatment genuine advantage), ms messes up and thinks it was pirated, making the treatment kill good cells instead.......

It requires gold particles to deliver, huh? So much for the hope that future medicine will be more affordable

tiny gold nanoparticles", 1/5000th the thickness of a human hair

I suppos ei fthe particle are that small they could probably gte liek a million gold particles from a gold ring or somerthing rofl.

"Healthy cells will also internalise the drug-coated nanoparticles, but unlike cancer cells they will excrete the phthalocyanine."

I sure hope so

All types of Cancer share the same rudimentary property: excessive cell division. The "Blue Jean" dye should very well be able to kill any kind of cell, cancerous or not.

Quote - Section 31 said @ #3.1
All types of Cancer share the same rudimentary property: excessive cell division. The "Blue Jean" dye should very well be able to kill any kind of cell, cancerous or not.
Exactly

"Because this compound does not dissolve in water, it is difficult to get it into cells. But this 'fat soluble' property is precisely what makes it a great potential therapy.

UEA's Dr David Russell explained: "Because this compound does not dissolve in water, it is difficult to get it into cells. But this 'fat soluble' property is precisely what makes it a great potential therapy. "We have shown using nanotechnology that we can get phthalocyanine into the cancer cells where it binds and, on activation, causes substantial cell death," he told the British