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Growing gold nanoparticles inside tumors can help kill cancer

Growing gold nanoparticles ins...
Researchers have shown how to grow gold inside cancer cells in order to kill them
Researchers have shown how to grow gold inside cancer cells in order to kill them
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Researchers have shown how to grow gold inside cancer cells in order to kill them
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Researchers have shown how to grow gold inside cancer cells in order to kill them

s10全球总决赛竞猜Gold isn’t just a pretty face – it’s shown promise in fighting cancer in many studies. Now researchers have found a way to grow gold nanoparticles directly inside cancer cells within 30 minutes, which can help with imaging and even be heated up to kill the tumors.

In previous work, gold nanostars, nanotubes and other nanoparticle structures have been sent into battle against cancer, but one of the main hurdles is getting the stuff inside the tumors. Sometimes they’re equipped with peptides that hunt down cancer, while others sneak in attached to white blood cells.

s10全球总决赛竞猜For this new study, researchers instead found a way to grow the gold directly inside the cancer cells. The advantage is that it doesn’t require as high a concentration of gold in the cell, and it can be done much quicker than other methods.

The team used polyethylene glycol (PEG) as a delivery vector for ionic gold, which is essentially gold salts dissolved in a liquid. When this is introduced to the cancer, the acidic cellular microenvironment converts the gold from its ionic form into plasmonic gold nanoparticles. The team says this happens in as little as 30 minutes, making it much faster than other treatments which can take 24 hours or more.

“We have developed a unique system where gold nanoparticles are reduced by cellular biomolecules and those are able to retain their functionality, including the capacity to guide the remaining cluster to the nucleus,” says Dipanjan Pan, corresponding author of the study.

In tests on mice, the researchers took the process a step further. They first grew gold nanoparticles inside tumors of living mice, then hit them with lasers to heat them up, killing the cancer cells. This method has been demonstrated in the past, but the gold isn’t usually grown inside the cells themselves.

s10全球总决赛竞猜“The intracellular formation and nuclear migration of these gold nanoparticles presents a highly promising approach for drug delivery application,” says Pan.

The research was published in the journal .

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2 comments
sidmehta
What incredible potential- inject this stuff, zap the body with lasers and the cancer is dead. The article doesn't say if they can reach almost all the cancer cells this way or only a few. And tell us whether it's likely to work against all cancers or just a few.
Mzungu_Mkubwa
Certain radiowave frequencies can excite the gold molecules and heat them. Lasers not required. John S. Kanzius was the former radio engineer who originally realized this concept. Why not just piggy-back on that technique? (How do they work anyway, shining thru non-transparent organic tissue?)