New nanoparticle delivers, tracks cancer drugs

Oct 29, 2013
New nanoparticle delivers, tracks cancer drugs
UNSW chemical engineers have developed a new nanoparticle that can deliver and track the release of cancer drugs. Credit:iStockphoto/ University of New South Wales

(Phys.org) —UNSW chemical engineers have synthesised a new iron oxide nanoparticle that delivers cancer drugs to cells while simultaneously monitoring the drug release in real time.

The result, published online in the journal ACS Nano, represents an important development for the emerging field of theranostics – a term that refers to nanoparticles that can treat and diagnose disease.

"Iron oxide nanoparticles that can track delivery will provide the possibility to adapt treatments for individual patients," says Associate Professor Cyrille Boyer from the UNSW School of Chemical Engineering.

By understanding how the cancer drug is released and its effect on the and surrounding tissue, doctors can adjust doses to achieve the best result.

Importantly, Boyer and his team demonstrated for the first time the use of a technique called fluorescence lifetime imaging to monitor the drug release inside a line of .

"Usually, the drug release is determined using model experiments on the lab bench, but not in the cells," says Boyer. "This is significant as it allows us to determine the kinetic movement of drug release in a true biological environment."

Magnetic have been studied widely because of their applications as in , or MRI. Several recent studies have explored the possibility of equipping these contrast agents with drugs.

However, there are limited studies describing how to load chemotherapy drugs onto the surface of magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, and no studies that have effectively proven that these drugs can be delivered inside the cell. This has only been inferred.

With this latest study, the UNSW researchers engineered a new way of loading the drugs onto the nanoparticle's polymer surface, and demonstrated for the first time that the particles are delivering their drug inside the cells.

"This is very important because it shows that bench chemistry is working inside the cells," says Boyer. "The next step in the research is to move to in-vivo applications."

Explore further: Nanoparticles release drugs to reduce tooth decay

More information: pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nn404407g

Related Stories

Nanoparticles for controlled drug release

Jun 13, 2013

Scientists from CIC bioGUNE and the Laboratoire de Chimie des Polymères Organiques (LCPO) in Bordeaux have jointly undertaken a project to develop "smart" nanoparticles. These polymeric particles act as "nanomissiles" against ...

Overcoming cancer drug resistance with nanoparticles

Jan 20, 2012

One of the ways in which cancer cells evade anticancer therapy is by producing a protein that pumps drugs out of the cell before these compounds can exert their cell-killing effects. A research team at Northwestern University ...

Recommended for you

Nanoparticles release drugs to reduce tooth decay

7 hours ago

Therapeutic agents intended to reduce dental plaque and prevent tooth decay are often removed by saliva and the act of swallowing before they can take effect. But a team of researchers has developed a way ...

Combining magnetism and light to fight cancer

12 hours ago

By combining, in a liposome, magnetic nanoparticles and photosensitizers that are simultaneously and remotely activated by external physical stimuli (a magnetic field and light), scientists at the Laboratoire ...

Scientists convert microbubbles to nanoparticles

Mar 30, 2015

Biomedical researchers led by Dr. Gang Zheng at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre have successfully converted microbubble technology already used in diagnostic imaging into nanoparticles that stay trapped in tumours to potentially ...

Designer's toolkit for dynamic DNA nanomachines

Mar 26, 2015

The latest DNA nanodevices created at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM)—including a robot with movable arms, a book that opens and closes, a switchable gear, and an actuator—may be intriguing ...

User comments : 0

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.