Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > New nanoparticle could improve cancer detection, drug delivery

Abstract:
University of Florida scientists have developed a new nanoparticle that could improve cancer detection and drug delivery. The particle, called a "micelle" and made up of a cluster of molecules called aptamers, easily recognizes tumors and binds strongly to them. It also has properties that allow it to easily get inside cells for intracellular studies and drug delivery.

New nanoparticle could improve cancer detection, drug delivery

Gainesville, FL | Posted on February 11th, 2010

"That is important, because we could attach a drug to the aptamer so that the drug could get into a cell," said Yanrong Wu, who recently completed her doctoral research at UF. Wu was the first author of a paper describing the findings in January in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In allowing more targeted treatment of diseased cells, the micelles would help reduce damage to healthy cells even with large doses of chemotherapy. Current methods often destroy normal cells while trying to kill tumor cells.

In biological studies, molecules termed "probes" have properties that enable them to detect other molecules or organisms of interest, such as viruses. Compared with existing probes such as antibodies, the aptamers offer advantages in terms of ease of production and identification, faster response time and much lower molecular weight.

Aptamers, the building blocks of the micelles, are short single strands of DNA that can recognize other molecules based on certain chemical conformation.

In previous drug delivery tests, aptamers on their own could only attach limited drug molecules and sometimes could not effectively recognize tumor cells, so UF researchers re-engineered the molecule to improve its usefulness in biomedical studies in the watery environment inside the body.

They effectively turned the aptamer molecules into a molecular recognition and drug delivery system combination that escorts water-insoluble compounds such as drugs into cells by encapsulating them inside a water-soluble structure.

To do so, the team, led by Weihong Tan, the V.T. and Louise Jackson professor of chemistry at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a professor of physiology and functional genomics in the UF College of Medicine, attached a "water-hating" or hydrophobic tail to the aptamers. The new molecules cluster together to form a micelle by tucking their water-hating tails together, exposing only the "water-loving" or hydrophilic portion of the structure. In that way, the micelle can shield water-insoluble agents such as drugs within its center, and help usher them into cells.

"It was kind of a stealth situation where the cell sees only the hydrophilic part, but inside, the drug is in the hydrophobic part," said Nick Turro, the William P. Schweitzer professor of chemistry at Columbia University, who was not involved in the study. "This opens a number of avenues that were unavailable before."

In tests that mimic physiological conditions, the micelles were more sensitive than the molecular probes alone. The micelle bound more strongly to target cells. That could lead to easier and earlier detection of biomarkers of disease such as cancer.

"When you are talking about diagnosis, these aptamers in micelles will have a much higher signal than individual aptamers, so we may be able to detect very small amounts of the substance we're testing for," said Tan, also a member of the UF Genetics Institute, the UF Shands Cancer Center and the Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute.

The micelle structures also might prove useful to more accurately determine how much diseased tissue is left behind after chemotherapy or surgery.

Now that the researchers have demonstrated the micelle's ability to bind in simulated physiological conditions, the next step will be to test it in real tumors.

The National Institutes of Health and The Florida Biomedical Research Program supported the research. Other investigators include Haipeng Liu, Kwame Sefah and Ruowen Wang.

####

About University of Florida
The University of Florida (UF) is a major, public, comprehensive, land-grant, research university. The state's oldest, largest and most comprehensive university, UF is among the nation's most academically diverse public universities. UF has a long history of established programs in international education, research and service. It is one of only 17 public, land-grant universities that belongs to the Association of American Universities.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media Contact
Czerne M. Reid

352-273-5814

Copyright © University of Florida

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

The power of perovskite: OIST researchers improve perovskite-based technology in the entire energy cycle, from solar cells harnessing power to LED diodes to light the screens of future electronic devices and other lighting applications August 18th, 2017

Gold nanostars and immunotherapy vaccinate mice against cancer: New treatment cures, vaccinates mouse in small proof-of-concept study August 18th, 2017

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Candy cane supercapacitor could enable fast charging of mobile phones August 17th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

2-faced 2-D material is a first at Rice: Rice University materials scientists create flat sandwich of sulfur, molybdenum and selenium August 14th, 2017

Engineers pioneer platinum shell formation process and achieve first-ever observation August 11th, 2017

Possible Futures

The power of perovskite: OIST researchers improve perovskite-based technology in the entire energy cycle, from solar cells harnessing power to LED diodes to light the screens of future electronic devices and other lighting applications August 18th, 2017

Gold nanostars and immunotherapy vaccinate mice against cancer: New treatment cures, vaccinates mouse in small proof-of-concept study August 18th, 2017

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Candy cane supercapacitor could enable fast charging of mobile phones August 17th, 2017

Nanomedicine

Gold nanostars and immunotherapy vaccinate mice against cancer: New treatment cures, vaccinates mouse in small proof-of-concept study August 18th, 2017

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

Announcements

The power of perovskite: OIST researchers improve perovskite-based technology in the entire energy cycle, from solar cells harnessing power to LED diodes to light the screens of future electronic devices and other lighting applications August 18th, 2017

Gold nanostars and immunotherapy vaccinate mice against cancer: New treatment cures, vaccinates mouse in small proof-of-concept study August 18th, 2017

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Candy cane supercapacitor could enable fast charging of mobile phones August 17th, 2017

Nanobiotechnology

Gold nanostars and immunotherapy vaccinate mice against cancer: New treatment cures, vaccinates mouse in small proof-of-concept study August 18th, 2017

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project