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Another Nanoparticle Cancer Treatment

Source: Dailytech

Researchers at Brown University have created a similar cancer treatment nanoparticle from the same components as MIT’s nanoworms, iron oxide nanospheres. There are a few things that set the two agents apart, however. Where MIT’s nanoworms are composed of eight iron oxide spheres coated with a polymer derived from complex sugar molecules, Brown’s nanoparticles do their job as single units.

Rather than using a polymer coating and attaching cancer-seeking peptides and toxins to it, Brown’s nanoparticle simply uses a peptide coating called RGD to attach the particles to tumor cells. They found that RGD attaches seamlessly to brain tumor cells known as U87MG in mice. Another advantage over standard MRI contrast agents is that the peptide coating is a mere two-nanometers thick, versus the 20 nanometer coatings used on agents like Feridex. The ultra-thin coating allows the iron oxide spheres to shine like beacons on MRI scans, showing much more brightly than widely used agents currently do.

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