Remote-control nanoparticles deliver drugs directly into tumor
MIT scientists have devised remotely controlled nanoparticles that, when pulsed with an electromagnetic field, release drugs to attack tumors. The innovation could lead to the improved diagnosis and targeted treatment of cancer. In earlier work the team developed injectable multi-functional nanoparticles designed to flow through the bloodstream, home to tumors and clump together. Clumped particles help clinicians visualize tumors through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). With the ability to see the clumped particles, MIT scientists asked the next question: "Can we talk back to them?" The answer is yes, the team found.
The system that makes it possible consists of particles that are superparamagnetic, a property that causes t! hem to give off heat when they are exposed to a magnetic field. Tethered to these particles are active molecules, such as therapeutic drugs. Exposing the particles to a low-frequency electromagnetic field causes the particles to radiate heat that, in turn, melts the tethers and releases the drugs. The waves in this magnetic field have frequencies between 350 and 400 kilohertz -the same range as radio waves. These waves pass harmlessly through the body and heat only the nanoparticles. The tethers in the system consist of strands of DNA. Two strands of DNA link together through hydrogen bonds that break when heated. In the presence of the magnetic field, heat generated by the nanoparticles breaks these, leaving one strand attached to the particle and allowing the other to float away with its cargo.
Read More: MIT
Nanomedicine conference to discuss the changing practice of healthcare and challenges in integrating nanotech into established business models
Key discussions will be on the changing practice of healthcare, challenges in integrating nanomedicine into established business models, managing ‘risks and uncertainties' , the role of public-private partnerships in building value, requirements for better regulation and standardisation as well as the barriers to the clinic. The conference will also have three main technology sessions, 'Drug Delivery and Pharmaceutical Development', ‘Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine' and 'Novel Devices, Nanosensors, Diagnostics and Imaging'.
The Institute of Nanotechnology, global leader in nanotechnology
information services, is organising its second annual nanomedicine
conference and exhibition which will showcase the latest developments
in medical nanotechnologies and potential routes to finance. The two
day event will see leading multinational companies, such as Philips,
AstraZeneca, GE Healthcare, GlaxoSmithKline, Volcano Corporation and
Fresenius Medical Care, sharing their vision of the impacts of
nanomedicine on healthcare and providing a window on their activities.
Read More: Nanotech now
A little risky business
WAVING a packet of carbon nanotubes accusingly at the assembled American politicians during a hearing last month in Congress, Andrew Maynard was determined to make a point. The nanotechnology expert at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington, DC, had bought the tiny tubes on the internet. They had arrived in the post along with a safety sheet describing them as graphite and thus requiring no special precautions beyond those needed for a nuisance dust.
Read More: The Economist