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A joint team of scientists from the Schools of Medicine and Physics at the University of Southampton developed smart nanomaterials that can manipulate the cellular behaviour of endothelial cells. Endothelial cells are the main building blocks of angiogenesis- a complex process that supplies most of the types of cancer with oxygen and nutrients and also is involved in cancer metastasis.
"Using small doses of novel designs of nanoparticles-specifically prepared for the experiment- we achieved not only to deliberately activate or inhibit genes that are involved in the angiogenesis process but also to control the degree of damage and repair of the endothelial cells using laser illumination. Our longer aim is to create a toolbox of smart nanomaterials that will assist us to efficiently control angiogenesis-activating the process when is needed (i.e. wound healing) or inhibiting it in other cases (i.e. disrupting the ‘food' supply of tumors)." Dr. Antonios Kanaras said.
More details can be found at the recently published articles by Kanaras and co-workers entitled "Receptor-Mediated Interactions between Colloidal Gold Nanoparticles and Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells" (Small, 2011, 7, No. 3, 388-394) and "Laser-Induced Damage and Recovery of Plasmonically Targeted Human Endothelial Cells" (NanoLett, 2011, 11 (3),1358-1363).
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