Tiny delivery system with a big impact on cancer cells

Dec 15, 2008
A new group of nanocomposite particles could lead to improved anti-cancer drugs, researchers report. Credit: Hari S. Muddana

Researchers in Pennsylvania are reporting for the first time that nanoparticles 1/5,000 the diameter of a human hair encapsulating an experimental anticancer agent, kill human melanoma and drug-resistant breast cancer cells growing in laboratory cultures. The discovery could lead to the development of a new generation of anti-cancer drugs that are safer and more effective than conventional chemotherapy agents, the scientists suggest. The research is scheduled for the Dec. 10 issue of ACS' Nano Letters.

In the new study, Mark Kester, James Adair and colleagues at Penn State's Hershey Medical Center and University Park campus point out that certain nanoparticles have shown promise as drug delivery vehicles. However, many of these particles will not dissolve in body fluids and are toxic to cells, making them unsuitable for drug delivery in humans. Although promising as an anti-cancer agent, ceramide also is insoluble in the blood stream making delivery to cancer cells difficult.

The scientists report a potential solution with development of calcium phosphate nanocomposite particles (CPNPs). The particles are soluble and with ceramide encapsulated with the calcium phosphate, effectively make ceramide soluble. With ceramide encapsulated inside, the CPNPs killed 95 percent of human melanoma cells and was "highly effective" against human breast cancer cells that are normally resistant to anticancer drugs, the researchers say.

Penn State Research Foundation has licensed the calcium phosphate nanocomposite particle technology known as "NanoJackets" to Keystone Nano, Inc. MK and JA are CMO and CSO, respectively.

Article: "Calcium Phosphate Nanocomposite Particles for In Vitro Imaging and Encapsulated Chemotherapeutic Drug Delivery to Cancer Cells", pubs.acs.org/stoken/presspac/presspac/full/10.1021/nl802098g

Provided by ACS

Explore further: New electronic stent could provide feedback and therapy—then dissolve

Related Stories

Designing better medical implants

May 18, 2015

Biomedical devices that can be implanted in the body for drug delivery, tissue engineering, or sensing can help improve treatment for many diseases. However, such devices are often susceptible to attack by ...

A turning point in the physics of blood

May 07, 2015

Mike Graham knows that fluid dynamics can reveal much about how the flow of blood helps and hinders individual blood cells as they go about their work.

Lightbulb using graphene is to go on sale this year

Mar 30, 2015

The BBC reported on Saturday that a graphene bulb is set for shops, to go on sale this year. UK developers said their graphene bulb will be the first commercially viable consumer product using the super- ...

Recommended for you

Non-aqueous solvent supports DNA nanotechnology

May 27, 2015

Scientists around the world are using the programmability of DNA to assemble complex nanometer-scale structures. Until now, however, production of these artificial structures has been limited to water-based ...

Nanosilver and the future of antibiotics

May 27, 2015

Precious metals like silver and gold have biomedical properties that have been used for centuries, but how do these materials effectively combat the likes of cancer and bacteria without contaminating the ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

E_L_Earnhardt
1 / 5 (1) Dec 16, 2008
o.k.! Whatever works that can be brought to market!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.