Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Boron-Nitride Nanotubes Show Potential in Cancer Treatment

Abstract:
A new study has shown that adding boron-nitride nanotubes to the surface of cancer cells can double the effectiveness of Irreversible Electroporation, a minimally invasive treatment for soft tissue tumors in the liver, lung, prostate, head and neck, kidney and pancreas. Although this research is in the very early stages, it could one day lead to better therapies for cancer.

Boron-Nitride Nanotubes Show Potential in Cancer Treatment

Newport News, VA | Posted on April 26th, 2012

The study was carried out by researchers in Italy at the Institute of Life Sciences, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa with BNNTs provided by researchers at NASA's Langley Research Center, the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and the National Institute of Aerospace.

Irreversible Electroporation is a new therapy for difficult-to-treat cancers in soft tissues. It is offered in many cancer treatment centers across the United States, and is being studied for effectiveness on a wide variety of specific cancers. Researchers at the Institute of Life Sciences began experimenting with BNNTs to see if the nanotubes could make the treatment more effective.

"Irreversible Electroporation is a way of putting holes in the wall of a tumor cell," said Michael W. Smith, chief scientist at BNNT, LLC and formerly a staff scientist at NASA's Langley Research Center.

Smith explained that when a hole of proper size is made in the wall of a cell, the cell reacts in a predictable fashion. Although the exact mechanism has not been pinpointed, researchers suspect that such a hole could trigger cell suicide. "The cell will literally go, Oh, something's terribly wrong, and kill itself. That's called apoptosis," he added.

Smith read about the Italian researcher's trials with BNNTs in a journal, and he offered the researchers a sample of the very high-quality Jefferson Lab/NASA Langley/NIA BNNTs. These BNNTs are highly crystalline and have a small diameter. Structurally, they also contain few walls with minimal defects, and are very long and highly flexible.

The Italian researchers first suspended the BNNTs in glycol-chitosan, a type of bio-soap solution, and blasted the tubes with sound waves to chop them into smaller bits. The solution, containing varying amounts of BNNTs, was then dumped on clusters of human epithelial carcinoma cells (also known as HeLa cells) in the lab to see if the BNNTs alone would kill the cells. The researchers determined the amount of BNNTs that killed roughly 25 percent of the cancer cells over 24 hours.

The researchers then exposed the HeLa cells to that amount of BNNTs in solution and zapped the cells with 160 Volts of electricity, which was the electroporation device supplier's suggested voltage and corresponds to an electric field of 800 Volts per centimeter. The researchers also treated unexposed cancer cells with the same voltage.

They found that the Irreversible Electroporation treatment method killed twice as many cancer cells with BNNTs (88 percent) on the cell surface than without (40 percent).

"They were able to get, in a petri dish, more than double the effectiveness. So, this technique works twice as well with our nanotubes on the cells than without them. That's a big deal, because you can either use a lot less voltage or kill a lot more cells," said Smith.

Smith and his colleague, Kevin Jordan, a Jefferson Lab staff engineer and chief engineer at BNNT, LLC, said that BNNTs have a long list of potential uses.

"Technology researchers say these nanotubes have energy applications, medical applications and aerospace applications," said Jordan.

The researchers are now attempting to scale up the production process, while also improving the purity of the BNNTs. Their aim is to be able to produce mass quantities of tubes for exploration of the full gamut of potential applications.

For instance, the Italian researchers will need more high-quality BNNTs to continue their studies in mice. Moving to this next step is promising, but the research is still in the very early stages, and it still has a long way to progress before the technique will be considered for use in the clinic to treat cancer.

Researchers at NASA's Langley Research Center, the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and the National Institute of Aerospace created a new technique to synthesize high-quality boron-nitride nanotubes (BNNTs). The pressurized vapor/condenser (PVC) method was developed with Jefferson Lab's Free-Electron Laser and was later perfected using a commercial welding laser. In this technique, the laser beam strikes a target inside a chamber filled with nitrogen gas. The beam vaporizes the target, forming a plume of boron gas. A condenser, a cooled metal wire, is inserted into the boron plume. The condenser cools the boron vapor as it passes by, causing liquid boron droplets to form. These droplets combine with the nitrogen to self-assemble into BNNTs.

The research was published online ahead of print in the journal Technology in Cancer Research and Treatment.

The BNNT nanotube material used in the study was produced through research supported by the NASA Langley Creativity and Innovation Program, the NASA Subsonic Fixed Wing program, DOE's Jefferson Lab and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

####

About DOE/Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility
Jefferson Lab is managed and operated for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science by Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, a joint venture between Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. and CSC Applied Technologies, LLC.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Kandice Carter
Jefferson Lab Public Affairs

757-269-7263

Copyright © DOE/Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

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

A 'movie' of ultrafast rotating molecules at a hundred billion per second: A quantum wave-like nature was successfully observed in rotating nitrogen molecules July 4th, 2015

New Biosensor Produced in Iran to Detect Effective Drugs in Cancer Treatment July 4th, 2015

Clues to inner atomic life from subtle light-emission shifts: Hyperfine structure of light absorption by short-lived cadmium atom isotopes reveals characteristics of the nucleus that matter for high precision detection methods July 3rd, 2015

Pioneering Southampton scientist awarded prestigious physics medal July 3rd, 2015

Laboratories

Influential Interfaces Lead to Advances in Organic Spintronics July 1st, 2015

NIST ‘How-To’ Website Documents Procedures for Nano-EHS Research and Testing July 1st, 2015

Ultra-stable JILA microscopy technique tracks tiny objects for hours July 1st, 2015

X-rays and electrons join forces to map catalytic reactions in real-time: New technique combines electron microscopy and synchrotron X-rays to track chemical reactions under real operating conditions June 29th, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

New technology using silver may hold key to electronics advances July 2nd, 2015

NIST Group Maps Distribution of Carbon Nanotubes in Composite Materials July 2nd, 2015

Influential Interfaces Lead to Advances in Organic Spintronics July 1st, 2015

NIST ‘How-To’ Website Documents Procedures for Nano-EHS Research and Testing July 1st, 2015

Nanomedicine

New Biosensor Produced in Iran to Detect Effective Drugs in Cancer Treatment July 4th, 2015

Groundbreaking research to help control liquids at micro and nano scales July 3rd, 2015

Iranian Scientists Find Simple, Economic Method to Synthesize Antibacterial Nanoparticles July 2nd, 2015

Leti Announces Launch of First European Nanomedicine Characterisation Laboratory: Project Combines Expertise of 9 Partners in 8 Countries to Foster Nanomedicine Innovation and Facilitate Regulatory Approval July 1st, 2015

Announcements

A 'movie' of ultrafast rotating molecules at a hundred billion per second: A quantum wave-like nature was successfully observed in rotating nitrogen molecules July 4th, 2015

New Biosensor Produced in Iran to Detect Effective Drugs in Cancer Treatment July 4th, 2015

Clues to inner atomic life from subtle light-emission shifts: Hyperfine structure of light absorption by short-lived cadmium atom isotopes reveals characteristics of the nucleus that matter for high precision detection methods July 3rd, 2015

Pioneering Southampton scientist awarded prestigious physics medal July 3rd, 2015

Research partnerships

Groundbreaking research to help control liquids at micro and nano scales July 3rd, 2015

Producing spin-entangled electrons July 2nd, 2015

Harris & Harris Group Portfolio Company, AgBiome, Announces Partnership to Accelerate the Discovery of Next Generation Insect-Resistant Crops July 1st, 2015

Leti Announces Launch of First European Nanomedicine Characterisation Laboratory: Project Combines Expertise of 9 Partners in 8 Countries to Foster Nanomedicine Innovation and Facilitate Regulatory Approval July 1st, 2015

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