Scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have designed tiny spherical particles to float easily through the bloodstream after injection, then assemble into a durable scaffold within diseased tissue.
An enzyme produced by a specific type of tumor can trigger the transformation of the spheres into netlike structures that accumulate at the site of a cancer, the team reports in the journal Advanced Materials this week.
Targeting treatments specifically to cancerous or other diseased cells depends on some means of accumulating high levels of a drug or other therapeutic agent at the specific site and keeping it there. Most efforts so far depend on matching a piece of the drug-delivering molecule to specific receptors on the surface of the target cell.
Inspiration for this new strategy came from biological systems that use shape to alter the ability of something to lock in place or slip away and escape, said Nathan Gianneschi, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry, who led the project.
“We wanted to come up with a new approach,” Gianneschi said. “Specifically, we wanted to design switchable materials that we could inject in one shape and have them change to another between the blood and tumors.”
Some cancerous tissues produce high levels of a class of molecules called MMPs, for matrix metalloproteinases. These enzymes change how other proteins behave by altering their molecular configuration, leading to metastasis. Gianneschi and colleagues harnessed this ability to alter their nanoparticles in ways that would cause them to linger at the site of the tumor.
“We figured out how to make an autonomous material that could sense its environment and change accordingly,” Gianneschi said.
Each nanoparticle is made of many detergent-like molecules with one end that mixes readily with water and another that repels it. In solution, they self assemble into balls with the water-repellant ends inside, and in that configuration can easily be injected into a vein.
When mixed with MMPs in vials, the enzymes nicked the peptides on the surface of the spheres, which reassembled into netlike threads.
The team tested the concept further by injecting their new nanoparticles into mice with human fibrosarcomas, a kind of cancer that produces high levels of MMPs.
To mark when the spheres broke down to form other structures, the chemists placed one of two fluorecent dyes, rhodamine or fluorescein, inside the spheres. In close proximity, the dyes interact to create a specific light signal called FRET for Förster Resonance Energy Transfer, when energy jumps from rhodamine to fluorescein.
Within a day they detected FRET signals indicating that the spheres had reassembled at the sites of the tumors, and the signal persisted for at least a week.
The treatment is not inherently toxic. It did not appear to change the tumors in any way, and liver and kidney, the organs most vulnerable to collateral damage from treatments because they clear toxins from the body, were normal and healthy eight days after injection.
Different versions of these nanoparticles could be designed to respond to signals inherent to other types of cancers and inflamed tissue, the authors say. The spheres can also be engineered to carry drugs, or different diagnostic probes.
The Latest Bing News on:
- materials scienceon November 23, 2020 at 4:00 pm
While studying materials made from DNA-coated nanoparticles, researchers found a new form of this matter: lattices in which smaller particles roam like electrons in metallic bonds. Answering these ...
- BMC canceron November 23, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Phase I clinical study of brentuximab vedotin (SGN-35) involving children with recurrent or refractory CD30-positive Hodgkin's lymphoma or systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma: rationale ...
- HIV and AIDS Newson November 18, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Oct. 23, 2020 — Scientists have devised a method for mapping in unprecedented detail the thickets of slippery sugar molecules that help shield HIV from the immune system. Mapping these shields ...
- Plastic Surgeryon November 17, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a ‘sucker’ to pick up and transfer thin cell or tissue sheets that are intended for therapeutic purposes, such as wound healing or ...
- High-entropy alloy nanoparticles show excellent resistance to oxidationon October 29, 2020 at 12:42 am
Schematic illustration of the oxidation process of high-entropy alloy nanoparticles. (Reprinted with permission by American Chemical Society) (click on image to enlarge) "Traditional metals or alloys ...
- Diwali gift ideas: Best truly wireless earphones to buy under Rs 5000on October 24, 2020 at 9:17 pm
These come with the company's own topology diaphragm, which consists of a special nanoparticle coating on the outer. The earbuds are extremely light, weighing in just at 5.9 grams. The company ...
- chemistry hackson October 12, 2020 at 5:00 pm
An international team of researchers is developing chemical-based circuitry that uses gold nanoparticles and electrically charged organic molecules to build circuit elements that behave like ...
- Nanotechnology Examples and Applicationson August 2, 2020 at 8:28 pm
Toxicologists have dealt with nanoparticles that are the result of modern human ... fully self-repairing paint, switchable colors, shape-shifting skin. Nanotechnology in the Cement Industry (click to ...
- A century after the 1918 pandemic, science takes its best shot at fluon January 17, 2018 at 6:19 am
There's no way to predict what strain of the shape-shifting flu virus could trigger ... from the stems and attaches them to ball-shaped nanoparticles easily spotted by the immune system.
- How to Stop a Lethal Viruson October 24, 2017 at 8:13 am
There have also been promising achievements, methods of anchoring the stem of the hemagglutinin with engineered nanoparticles ... is caused by a virus so shape-shifting that we have never been ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
The Latest Bing News on:
- Autonomous driving should learn from aviation industryon November 26, 2020 at 9:21 pm
Image Credit: Gulf News Archive Autonomous vehicle (AV ... Lane markings need to be redesigned with different materials and standards to allow AVs to maneuver safely in varied weather and light ...
- Autonomous Agents Market 2020 Growth Factors, Top Manufacturers, Future Investment, Segmentation, Share, Size, CAGR, Latest Trends, Forecast 2025on November 26, 2020 at 10:43 am
Nov (The Expresswire) -- Global"Autonomous Agents Market"(2020-2026) status and position of worldwide and key regions, with perspectives ...
- From Autonomous Cars To Green Hydrogen, Here Are The Top Techs For 2021on November 25, 2020 at 7:00 am
Autonomous vehicles, plastic recycling and green hydrogen will be among the key technologies to watch in 2021, says Lux Research.
- Global Mining Machinery Markets to 2025 by by Category, Application, Propulsion, Power Output, Electric Machinery, Autonomous Machineryon November 25, 2020 at 12:50 am
The "Mining Machinery Market by Category (Crushing, Pulverizing, and Screening, Mineral Processing, Surface & Underground), Application, Propulsion, Power Output, Electric Machinery (Mining Truck, LHD ...
- Automotive Interior Market by Component, Material, Autonomous Driving, Electric Vehicle, Vehicle Type and Region - Global Forecast to 2025on November 24, 2020 at 12:38 pm
Material (Glass Composite, Carbon Composite, Metal, Vinyl, Fabric), Autonomous Driving (Semi-autonomous, Autonomous), Electric Vehicle, Vehicle Type and Region - Global Forecast to 2025 report has bee ...
- IRIS Switzerland Adopts Silvaco TCAD Software for the Development of Photodiodes for Autonomous Driving Applicationson November 24, 2020 at 10:00 am
IRIS Switzerland Adopts Silvaco TCAD Software for the Development of Photodiodes for Autonomous Driving Applications ...
- Autonomous Car Technology Market Size Rising at magnificent CAGR During 2020-2025 : Analysis of Key Players, Trends, Drivers and Top Countries Dataon November 23, 2020 at 8:52 pm
Research Reports provides key analysis on the global market in a Report, titled "COVID-19 Outbreak-Global " Autonomous Car Technology Industry Market " Report-Development Trends, Threats, ...
- Etisalat Takes Major Leap Toward an Autonomous Network with Blue Planeton November 23, 2020 at 6:01 am
Etisalat, one of the leading telecommunications operators in emerging markets recognized by Ookla® Speedtest® as the world’s fastest mobile network provider, has deployed the first end-to-end ...
- Fostering creativity in researchers: How automation can revolutionize materials researchon November 19, 2020 at 3:04 am
At the heart of many past scientific breakthroughs lies the discovery of novel materials. However, the cycle of synthesizing, testing and optimizing new materials routinely takes scientists long hours ...
- Goodyear to make tires for autonomous trucking company TuSimpleon November 17, 2020 at 11:42 am
The companies also will conduct studies on the difference between an autonomous and human driver with respect to the tires.