24 March 2011

All-in-one nanoparticles for cancer diagnosis and treatment

A new universal nanoparticle for the treatment and visualization of cancerous tumors uses light, sound and heat
LifeSciencesToday based on UHN materials:
Princess Margaret Hospital researchers create an organic, non-toxic nanoparticle that lights up, and uses sound and heat to find and treat tumors

A group of scientists from the Princess Margaret Hospital, Ontario, Canada, have created a new organic nanoparticle – biodegradable and completely non-toxic. Such a nanoparticle releases anti-cancer drugs and destroys the tumor, using light and heat with high efficiency.

The nanoparticle developed by Canadian scientists, the message about which (Porphysome nanovesicles generated by porphyrin bilayers for use as multimodal biophotonic contrast agents) is published in the journal Nature Materials, has a unique and universal structure. According to the head of the study, Dr. Gang Zheng, a senior researcher at the Ontario Cancer Institute, she can have a significant impact on the treatment of tumors.

"To create a unique nanoparticle that works on the principles of biophotonics, with a wide prospect of use in various fields, we combined two natural molecules (chlorophyll and lipid)," says Dr. Zheng.

The structure of the nanoparticle allows filling it with medicinal chemotherapeutic drugs for targeted delivery to target tumors.

Photothermal therapy uses light and heat to destroy tumors. Given the ability of nanoparticles to absorb a lot of light due to chlorophyll and accumulate in the tumor, the laser can quickly heat its tissue to a temperature of 60 degrees and destroy the neoplasm. Such nanoparticles can also be used for photoacoustic imaging, in which light and sound are combined, which will allow obtaining very high-resolution images that can be used to determine the location of tumors. Having reached its goal, the nanoparticle begins to fluoresce, signaling that "mission accomplished".

The figure from the article in Nature Materials shows a schematic image of a pyropheophorbid-lipid porphysome (pyropheophorbide-lipid porphysome) consisting of their phospholipid (red) and porphyrin (blue), and an electron micrograph of negatively colored porphysomes.

The new nanoparticle, a kind of "all in one", is a complete package of tools for several types of imaging and treatment (photoacoustic imaging, photothermal therapy, targeted delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs, etc.), a different combination of which can now be selected in a way that "previously it was difficult to even imagine," says Dr. Zheng. And the unprecedented safety of such nanoparticles for the body crowns the success of scientists.

"We are delighted with the possibilities of its clinical use," Zheng comments on his work.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru24.03.2011

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