• Sign in to Neowin Faster!

    Create an account on Neowin to contribute and support the site.

Sign in to follow this  

[science] Cancer cells killed

Recommended Posts

vincent    154
Nanotechnology has been harnessed to kill cancer cells without harming healthy tissue.

The technique works by inserting microscopic synthetic rods called carbon nanotubules into cancer cells.

When the rods are exposed to near-infra red light from a laser they heat up, killing the cell, while cells without rods are left unscathed.

Details of the Stanford University work are published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researcher Dr Hongjie Dai said: "One of the longstanding problems in medicine is how to cure cancer without harming normal body tissue.

"Standard chemotherapy destroys cancer cells and normal cells alike.

"That's why patients often lose their hair and suffer numerous other side effects.

"For us, the Holy Grail would be finding a way to selectively kill cancer cells and not damage healthy ones."

Many in cell

The carbon nanotubules used by the Stanford team are only half the width of a DNA molecule, and thousands can easily fit inside a typical cell.

Under normal circumstances near-infra red light passes through the body harmlessly.

But the Stanford team found that if they placed a solution of carbon nanotubules under a near-infra red laser beam, the solution heated up to about 70C in two minutes.

They then placed the tubules inside cells, and found they were quickly destroyed by the heat generated by the laser beam.

Dr Dai said: "It's actually quite simple and amazing. We're using an intrinsic property of nanotubes to develop a weapon that kills cancer."

The next step was to find a way to introduce the nantubules into cancer cells, but not healthy cells.

The researchers did this by taking advantage of the fact that, unlike normal cells, the surface of cancer cells is covered with receptors for a vitamin known as folate.

They coated the nanotubules with folate molecules, making it easy for them to pass into cancer cells, but unable to bind with their healthy cousins.

Exposure to the laser duly killed off the diseased cells, but left the healthy ones untouched.

Refined technique

The researchers believe it should be possible to refine the technique still further, for instance by attaching an antibody to a nanotubule to target a particular kind of cancer cell.

They have already started work on tailoring the technique to target lymphoma in mice.

Dr Emma Knight, of the charity Cancer Research UK, said: "Nanotechnology has a lot to offer biomedical science, and the results of this paper suggest yet another way in which it may help in the fight against cancer.

"However, this work is still at a very early stage. The researchers have shown that near-infra red light can cause nanotubes to produce heat that can kill cancer cells.

"But their work so far has focused on cells that have been grown in culture in the laboratory.

"Further research will be crucial to see whether these effects can be reproduced in the more complex environment of a tumour and, ultimately, the human body."

source

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
_I am Reptar    35

Cool!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Crimson Behelit    0

Sounds like an episode out of Star Trek!

This is truly amazing!

It's unbelievable that the nanites can distinguish between healthy tissue and cancerous tissue!

Hopefully I'll live to see the day where receiving a booster of nanites will augment human strength, alertness, and speed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Koolslacker    0

pretty impressive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Soham    4

good news for people with cancer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Deathray    4
The researchers did this by taking advantage of the fact that, unlike normal cells, the surface of cancer cells is covered with receptors for a vitamin known as folate.

They coated the nanotubules with folate molecules, making it easy for them to pass into cancer cells, but unable to bind with their healthy cousins.

For joekr...

Right now this seems all dandy, a great first step, but i can see this being 10-15 years away from any practical human use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GhostShell    0

This is pretty interesting to hear. Hopefully this will be a better treatment alternative than chemotherapy for people with cancer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MrStoo    0

:o :o ......speechless

That really is amazing! You can tell that the future of technology is today ;)

Congratulations to them! :D :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sfalcon    0
good news for people with cancer

586314454[/snapback]

I'd say it's good news for all people. Cancer seems to be affecting everyone these days whether directly or because of a loved one. I dont' know anyone who hasn't been affected by someone close being diagnosed w/it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.