Friday, September 12, 2008

Researchers develop Nano sized anti-cancer machines

Scientists have developed nanometer-sized anti-cancer drug delivery systems that can be injected into the bloodstream - without control from an external control system or detection by the body’s immune system, deliver anti-cancer drugs into tumors that might otherwise go untreated or undetected. Scientists at UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and MIT report that their system integrates therapeutic and diagnostic functions into a single device that avoids rapid removal by the body’s natural immune system. 1000 times smaller than a human hair, these microscopic cargo ships could one day provide the means to more effectively deliver toxic anti-cancer drugs to tumors in high concentrations without negatively impacting other parts of the body. The clever way the machines avoid detection is to coat the outside of the tiny machines with specially modified lipids--a primary component of the surface of natural cells, modified in such a way as to prevent the body from eliminationg them for up to several hours. This would allow them enough time to find and deliver the drugs to cancer cells.

<- USC news via Dvice ->

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