American Elephants


Nanotechnology Delivers Potent Anti-Cancer Agent to the Target. by The Elephant's Child

So how about a little good news? One of the most promising near-term applications of nanotechnology is in targeted drug delivery to treat cancer. Challenges remain, which involve the stability of the nanoparticles in the circulatory system, getting them into the cancer cells, releasing the cargo to kill the cancer cells, and the fact that cancer cells often have defenses against anti-cancer drugs.

A team of researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and

Applied Science has developed a degradable nanoscale shell to carry proteins to cancer cells and stunt the growth of tumors without damaging healthy cells.

In a new study, a group led by Yi Tang, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and a member of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA,  report developing tiny shells composed of a water-soluble polymer that can safely deliver a protein complex to the nucleus of cancer cells to induce their death. The shells, which at about 100 nanometers are roughly half the size of the smallest bacterium, degrade harmlessly in non cancerous cells.

This is potentially a new way to treat cancer that does not present the risk to healthy cells caused by chemotherapy, which does not effectively discriminate between healthy cells and cancerous cells.

It’s all very complicated, and not ready for manufacturing, but it’s nice to know about the exciting developments going on in the laboratories of America.


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