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June 6th, 2007
Korean scientists have developed a proof-of-concept method for cancer detection and treatment. Seungjoo Haam and Yong-Min Huh at Yonsei University, Seoul, and their colleagues have made magnetic nanoparticles that can both detect breast cancer cells and deliver drugs to them.
The scientists combined iron nanocrystals and a biodegradable polymer to create their nanoparticles. The team encapsulated an anticancer drug, doxorubicin, inside the nanoparticles, and bound the antibody Herceptin, used to target breast cancer cells, to their surface.
The group then added the nanoparticles to a solution containing cancerous cells. They found that the nanoparticles bind to the cells and kill them by slowly releasing the trapped drug to them over a three week period.
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