Scientists “Teleport” Gold Nanoparticles Into Cancer Cells To Destroy Them

Harin - Sep 18, 2020


Scientists “Teleport” Gold Nanoparticles Into Cancer Cells To Destroy Them

Scientists have found a way to synthesize gold nanoparticles right inside malignant tumors, helping doctors locate the tumor using X-rays.

Gold isn’t just a jewelry item, it can also be used as a weapon to fight cancer. In a new study published in Nature Communication, US scientists say that they have found a way to synthesize gold nanoparticles right inside malignant tumors. These gold nanoparticles can help doctors locate the tumor using X-rays.

After that, with laser or infrared-rays, the gold nanoparticles could heat up and burn the tumor from within.

The research was led by chemical engineering professor Dipanjan Pan at the University of Maryland. He said that people have used gold in therapy since the 18th century. To do so, scientists must study how to turn gold from its solid state to nanoparticles (from 1-100nm) with biocompatibility.

Gold Nanoparticles
With laser or infrared-rays, the gold nanoparticles could heat up and burn the tumor from within.

Under laboratory conditions, the synthesis of gold nanoparticles requires ionic precursors and reducing agents to withstand a wide variety of reaction conditions, including high temperatures, strong pH, and prolonged reaction times.

Once they achieve gold nanoparticles, the scientists have to find a way to teleport them inside cancer tumor cells. Several strategies have been proposed including attaching them to proteins or using immune cells.

However, Prof. Dipanjan Pan and his colleagues believe that they won’t need a two-step process to do this. In his work, gold nanoparticles can be synthesized directly inside tumors without the need for equipment or laboratory conditions.

Cancer cells themselves and their biochemical reactions can be used to become a miniature laboratory where gold nanoparticles are produced.

To do this, Prof. Dipanjan used a chemical “teleport” strategy. He already had gold nanoparticles ready in the lab. These nanoparticles were dissolved

Cancer
Gold nanoparticles can be synthesized directly inside tumors without the need for equipment or laboratory conditions.

in a solution of polyethylene glycol to produce ionic gold or gold salt.

This gold salt was then injected into cancer cells where there biological molecules that act as reducing agents to desalinate the gold to its original nano-gold form.

The whole process took only 30 minutes, much faster than other methods of bringing gold nanoparticles into cells that could take up to 24 hours.

The gold nanoparticles inside cancer cells can help scientists spot them under X-rays.

To demonstrate the feasibility of this treatment, Prof. Dipanjan Pan performed an experiment on mice. He and his team teleported gold nanoparticles into a tumor containing human cancer cells inside the mice.

Mice
To demonstrate the feasibility of this treatment, Prof. Dipanjan Pan performed an experiment on mice.

User laser rays, only after two days, the tumor was reduced in size. And it disappeared completely after one week of treatment.

This method may better target cancer tumors. As a result, healthy cells won’t be affected by the treatment.

>>> Three Renowned Indian Institutes Developed A More Effective Cancer Treatment

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