CNBP Scientists Developed a New Targeted Treatment for Cancer

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 12:50

Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) have developed and designed their liposomes to collapse on demand, releasing the payload of drugs.

Gold nanoparticles and molecules called verteporfin were embedded into the walls of the bubbles. When an X-ray pulse is applied, the verteporfin reacts with it to give off singlet oxygen, which bursts the bubble. The gold is there to help focus the energy and increase the reaction, New Atlas reports.

"Our X-ray triggered liposomes were loaded with the chemotherapy drug, doxorubicin, which killed the cancer cells far more effectively than without X-ray triggering," says Ewa Goldys, senior researcher on the project. "We then tested our liposomes to determine effectiveness against bowel tumours. Tumours treated with our liposomes gradually shrunk over the two week test period which is an extremely encouraging result."

Bursting bubbles on demand to unleash drug payloads has been done before, but the trigger is usually ultrasound pulses.

The CNBP study was performed in mice, and the researchers say they plan to continue developing the liposomes to get the treatment ready for human clinical trials.

The research was published in the journal Nature Communications.

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