Can Nanoparticles Kill the Cancer Cells

Any Cancer treatment technique involves killing the harmful Cancer cells. But the real challenge for the drug-makers is the fact that the harmful cells are closely surrounded by healthy cells. In common Cancer treatment techniques like Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy, this fact emerges as a major disadvantage. Doctors have no control over the dangerous and powerful medicines and energy waves used in these techniques. But according to a research funded by the Sloan Foundation and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Scientists have developed a method to use nano-particles which can seek and destroy only the cancer cells, leaving the healthy cells unharmed. The details of the research are published in the on-line edition journal of the Nanotechnology.

Knowledge Gained from the Research Study:

  • The method involved pressing gold between two iron oxide pieces to form the nano-particle.
  • Antibodies are then attached to the nano-particle and targeted towards the molecules of the Cancer cells.
  • Once the nano-particles reach the cancer cells, they are absorbed by them.
  • A near-infra red laser light immediately gets activated at this stage which is absorbed by the gold.
  • The heated gold component of the nano-particle, heats up the entire cancer cell, and eventually it dies.
  • The energy of the laser light used is sufficient to kill only the Cancer cells and cannot cause damage to the health cells.
  • However, it is crucial that the targeting of the Cancer cells is done with precision.
  • Once the nano-particle gets binded to the cancer cell, its absorption is imminent then and its death is certain too.
  • Scientists are calling this technique as Smart therapy of Cancer.
  • According to lead researcher, Dr. Carl Batt, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor of Food Science, a technique is called Smart when it can be targeted and gets activated into action only when it is at the cancer cell and destroys it completely.
  • Gold is considered as an important component of the nano-particle as its shape and size can be tuned to get heated by lasers of varying energy.
  • Iron’s presence in the nano-particle can provide the scientists a possibility to develop a method of Cancer treatment using Magnetic resonance imaging.

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