CLEVELAND Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have developed a technique that has the potential to deliver cancer-fighting drugs to diseased areas within hours, as opposed to the two days it currently takes for existing delivery systems.
Using laboratory mice, drug delivery time from injection to the cancer cells was reduced from two days to mere hours. Using this as a model for potential human use, cancer patients may someday soon receive the benefits of cancer-fighting drugs within hours of injection.
Findings are discussed in a paper, co-authored by Clemens Burda, associate professor of chemistry and director of the Center for Chemical Dynamics and Nanomaterials Research at Case Western Reserve University and graduate student Yu Cheng, appearing in the current edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
The system uses gold nanoparticle vectors to deliver photodynamic therapy (PDT) drugs through the bloodstream to cancerous sites.
"Gold nanoparticles are usually not used for the PDT drug vector," said Cheng. "However, gold is chemically inert and nontoxic."
Photodynamic therapy utilizes light-sensitive drugs that, when exposed to light of a certain wavelength, will energize and burn away cancer cells.
Because exposure to light activates these drugs, PDT patients must keep out of bright lights for days while the drugs make their way through the bloodstream to the cancer site. At that time, they are activated by a light focused on the specific area of the body.
"By shortening the waiting time from drug injection to activation, PDT patients are much less inconvenienced and tend to have a more normal lifestyle," said Burda.
Looks like a "Hairy Ball"
The drug delivery system uses a gold nanoparticle (Au NP) as its hub. Gold is non-toxic to the human body, and has a versatile surface chemistry, large surface-to-volume ratio and variable size and shape.
Each Au NP is coa
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Case Western Reserve University