Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Bold Medicine, Golden Innovation

Xenia Kachur, a graduate student in the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Interdisciplinary Program at the University of Arizona, is working on methods to deliver chemotherapeutic drugs to cancer tissues without harming healthy body cells. Photo credit: Beatriz Verdugo/UANews
Xenia Kachur, a graduate student in the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Interdisciplinary Program at the University of Arizona, is working on methods to deliver chemotherapeutic drugs to cancer tissues without harming healthy body cells. Photo credit: Beatriz Verdugo/UANews

Abstract:
One day, building on the bold work being done by Marek Romanowski and his students, those suffering cancer may be able to receive effective chemotherapy treatment, confident that they will not have to endure the side effects. To a patient facing such treatments, such confidence will be as good as gold.

Bold Medicine, Golden Innovation

Tucson, AZ | Posted on January 31st, 2011

The upside of chemotherapy is that it attacks cancer cells and kills them. The downside - and a steep downside it is - is that it is composed of highly toxic compounds that attack other cells of the body, too, resulting in any number of harmful side effects, from anemia to hair loss to nausea and vomiting.

The question concerning researchers is how do we deliver chemotherapy drugs to the harmful cells and leave the healthy cells alone?

Marek Romanowski, Ph.D. associate professor of biomedical engineering at the UA College of Engineering and member of the BIO5 Institute and the Arizona Cancer Center, and his team might be on to an answer. In a paper authored by primary investigator Sarah Leung, along with Xenia Kachur, Michael Bobnick and Dr. Romanowski, Leung describes an idea that is literally golden.

Chemotherapy drugs are sometimes delivered via microscopic capsules called liposomes made of organic lipids already present in cells. These lipid casings, used in a technique called liposomal therapy, do two things. First, they allow the drugs to more effectively penetrate into cancer cells. At the same time, they keep the body's immune system from eliminating the drugs before they can do their jobs.

The problem is that, as the liposomes degrade, the drugs are potentially released indiscriminately throughout the body. So, how can we force these capsules to release their contents only around those unhealthy tumor cells?

Romanowski and his team are experimenting by coating liposomes with gold, an element which has the property of converting infrared light into heat.

"The heat causes the liposome to become leaky, and then whatever's really concentrated inside can diffuse out through the liposome," says Kachur, a third-year graduate student in the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Interdisciplinary Program.

The idea works because infrared light has the ability to penetrate deeply through the body.

"Once you know where the tumors are, you can go ahead and point your light source toward those areas. Whatever else is left will leave the body or may be slowly released, but not to as high or as toxic of levels as it would be if you just injected the drug systemically," said Leung, a fourth-year graduate student.

One last bonus to the proposed innovation is that the kidneys can naturally filter and eliminate the biodegraded gold nanostructures from the body.

If successful, the gold-coated liposomes being developed at the UA could offer a new way to target delivery of drugs to cancerous regions of the body, non-invasively trigger the drugs' release using infrared light, and provide a way for the body to naturally eliminate the toxic byproducts.

One day, building on the bold work being done by Marek Romanowski and his students, those suffering cancer may be able to receive effective chemotherapy treatment, confident that they will not have to endure the side effects. To a patient facing such treatments, such confidence will be as good as gold.

The paper, "Wavelength-selective Light-induced Release from Plasmon Resonant Liposomes," will appear in the journal Advanced Functional Materials. Learn more about the Department of Biomedical Engineering at bme.engr.arizona.edu/.

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © University of Arizona

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

Scientists reveal breakthrough in optical fiber communications December 21st, 2014

Atom-thick CCD could capture images: Rice University scientists develop two-dimensional, light-sensitive material December 20th, 2014

Oregon researchers glimpse pathway of sunlight to electricity: Collaboration with Lund University uses modified UO spectroscopy equipment to study 'maze' of connections in photoactive quantum dots December 19th, 2014

Instant-start computers possible with new breakthrough December 19th, 2014

Possible Futures

A novel method for identifying the body’s ‘noisiest’ networks November 19th, 2014

Researchers discern the shapes of high-order Brownian motions November 17th, 2014

VDMA Electronics Production Equipment: Growth track for 2014 and 2015 confirmed: Business climate survey shows robust industry sector November 14th, 2014

Open Materials Development Will Be Key for HP's Success in 3D Printing: HP can make a big splash in 3D printing, but it needs to shore up technology claims and avoid the temptation of the razor/razor blade business model in order to flourish November 11th, 2014

Academic/Education

SUNY Poly NanoCollege Faculty Member Selected as American Physical Society Fellow: SUNY Poly Associate Professor of Nanoscience Dr. Vincent LaBella Recognized for Significant Technological Innovations that Enable Interactive Learning December 17th, 2014

Nanomedicine expert joins Rice faculty: Gang Bao combines genetic, nano and imaging techniques to fight disease December 17th, 2014

FEI and Oregon Health & Science University Install a Complete Correlative Microscopy Workflow in Newly Built Collaborative Science Facility December 16th, 2014

Student Nanotechnology Laboratories Network Set Up in Iran December 15th, 2014

Nanomedicine

Creation of 'Rocker' protein opens way for new smart molecules in medicine, other fields December 18th, 2014

Iranian Researchers Produce Electrical Pieces Usable in Human Body December 18th, 2014

Unraveling the light of fireflies December 17th, 2014

First Home-Made Edible Herbal Nanodrug Presented to Pharmacies across Iran December 17th, 2014

Announcements

Scientists reveal breakthrough in optical fiber communications December 21st, 2014

Atom-thick CCD could capture images: Rice University scientists develop two-dimensional, light-sensitive material December 20th, 2014

Oregon researchers glimpse pathway of sunlight to electricity: Collaboration with Lund University uses modified UO spectroscopy equipment to study 'maze' of connections in photoactive quantum dots December 19th, 2014

Instant-start computers possible with new breakthrough December 19th, 2014

Nanobiotechnology

Scientists trace nanoparticles from plants to caterpillars: Rice University study examines how nanoparticles behave in food chain December 16th, 2014

FEI and Oregon Health & Science University Install a Complete Correlative Microscopy Workflow in Newly Built Collaborative Science Facility December 16th, 2014

UCLA engineers first to detect and measure individual DNA molecules using smartphone microscope December 15th, 2014

Biomimetic dew harvesters: Understanding how a desert beetle harvests water from dew could improve drinking water collection in dew condensers December 8th, 2014

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







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE