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March 29th, 2006
Cellular scale drug delivery from the inside out
Delivering a dose of chemotherapy drugs to specific cancer cells without the risk of side affects to healthy cells may one day be possible thanks to a nanoscale drug delivery system being explored by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory.
Using tiny silica particles call mesoporous nanospheres to carry drugs inside living cells, Ames Laboratory chemist Victor Lin is studying different methods to control whether or not the particle delivers its pharmaceutical payload.
“By using a powerful magnet, we can first concentrate the nanospheres at a particular point, such as a tumor site, and then use the magnetic field to remove the caps and release the drug,” Lin said. “The advantage of using a magnetic trigger as opposed to a ultraviolet light trigger is that there’s no limit to the depth of tissue we are able to probe … think of an MRI.”
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