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Home > Press > Multifunctional Nanoparticles Image, Target, and Treat Tumors

Abstract:
Encapsulating magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles within a silica shell has yielded a new multifunctional nanoparticle that has the potential to image, target, and treat tumors with water-insoluble anticancer drugs. A report of this work appears in the journal ACS Nano.

Multifunctional Nanoparticles Image, Target, and Treat Tumors

Bethesda , MD | Posted on May 21st, 2008


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May 2008

Multifunctional Nanoparticles Image, Target, and Treat Tumors

Encapsulating magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles within a silica shell has yielded a new multifunctional nanoparticle that has the potential to image, target, and treat tumors with water-insoluble anticancer drugs. A report of this work appears in the journal ACS Nano.

Jeffery Zink, Ph.D., led a research team at the University of California, Los Angeles, that created the new nanoparticles, which contain an iron oxide nanoparticle core and a porous silica shell. The investigators coated the resulting nanoparticles with folic acid, a tumor targeting agent, and a fluorescent dye to enable optical imaging. Soaking the nanoparticles in a solvent containing either paclitaxel or camptothecin, both of which are poorly soluble in water and difficult to deliver to tumors as a result, resulted in significant drug loading through the pores in the silica shell. Tests showed that the drug-loaded nanoparticles were stable for at least 2 months.

Experiments with pancreatic cancer cells demonstrated that the targeted nanoparticles were taken up rapidly by cancer cells, whereas untargeted control nanoparticles were not. The researchers were able to quantify nanoparticle uptake using both MRI and optical spectroscopy thanks to the iron oxide nanoparticle core and fluorescent dyes, respectively. The targeted nanoparticles were also more toxic to the tumor cells than were untargeted nanoparticles.

This work, which was supported in part by the NCI, is detailed in the paper "Multifunctional Inorganic Nanoparticles for Imaging, Targeting, and Drug Delivery." An abstract of this paper is available at the journal's Web site.

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About National Cancer Institute
To help meet the goal of reducing the burden of cancer, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, is engaged in efforts to harness the power of nanotechnology to radically change the way we diagnose, treat and prevent cancer.

The NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer is a comprehensive, systematized initiative encompassing the public and private sectors, designed to accelerate the application of the best capabilities of nanotechnology to cancer.

Currently, scientists are limited in their ability to turn promising molecular discoveries into benefits for cancer patients. Nanotechnology can provide the technical power and tools that will enable those developing new diagnostics, therapeutics, and preventives to keep pace with today’s explosion in knowledge.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
National Cancer Institute
Office of Technology & Industrial Relations
ATTN: NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer
Building 31, Room 10A49
31 Center Drive , MSC 2580
Bethesda , MD 20892-2580

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