Navigation Links
Combining nanotubes and antibodies for breast cancer 'search and destroy' missions

Single-walled nanotubescylinders of carbon about a nanometer in diameterhave been highly touted for potential applications such as ultrastrong fibers, electrical wires in molecular devices, or hydrogen storage components for fuel cells. Thanks to a new development by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and five partners, you can add one more application to the list: detection and destruction of an aggressive form of breast cancer.

HER2 is one of a family of genes that help regulate the growth and proliferation of human cells. Normal cells have two copies of HER2, but about 20 to 25 percent of breast cancer cells have multiple copies of the gene, resulting in the overproduction of a HER2-encoded protein (called HER2 and designated in Roman type versus italics for the gene) that is associated with particularly fast growing and difficult to treat tumors. About 40,000 women in the United States are diagnosed annually with this form of breast cancer.

In a recently published paper in BMC Cancer,* the NIST-led research team bonded an antibody that has been created to attack the HER2 protein, chicken immunoglobulin Y (IgY), to short nanotubes (about 90 nanometers long, or 5,000 times shorter than an amoeba). Both halves of the special combinationthe antibody and the nanotubehave critical roles to play in selectively hunting down the HER2 tumor cells and eliminating them.

First, the broad genetic differences between avian and human species means that the chicken IgY antibody to HER2 reacts strongly with the target protein expressed on tumor cells while ignoring normal cells with other human proteins. The carbon nanotubes attached to the antibodies also become linked to the HER2 tumors.

Two unique optical properties of carbon nanotubes allow this link to be exploited for improved detection and destruction of HER2 breast cancer cells. Near-infrared laser light at a wavelength of 785 nanometers reflects intensely off the nanotubes, and this strong signal is easily detected by a technique called Raman spectroscopy. Increase the laser light's wavelength to 808, nanometers and it will be absorbed by the nanotubes, incinerating them and anything to which they're attachedin this case, the HER2 tumor cells.

The experiment described in the BMC Cancer paper was conducted in laboratory cell cultures. Using the HER2 IgY-nanotube complex to selectively identify and target HER2 tumors resulted in a nearly 100 percent eradication of the cancer cells while nearby normal cells remained unharmed. In comparison, there only was a slight reduction in cancer cells for cultures treated with anti-HER2 antibody alone.

The next step for the research team is to conduct mouse trials of the HER2 IgY-nanotube complex to see if the dramatic cancer-killing ability works in animals as well as it does in the lab. In a separate but related project, the team hopes to use a nanotube-antibody combination against another tumor cell protein, MUC4, to treat pancreatic cancer.


Contact: Michael E. Newman
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Related biology news :

1. Ecology in organic ag: Combining farming, science
2. Combining sun, sand and science in the Bahamas
3. Combining advanced medical and information technologies offers pathway to lower health care costs
4. Study shows how carbon nanotubes can affect lining of the lungs
5. A step toward better brain implants using conducting polymer nanotubes
6. Carbon nanotubes could make efficient solar cells
7. UConn chemists find secret to increasing luminescence efficiency of carbon nanotubes
8. The gold standard: Biodesign Institute researchers use nanoparticles to make 3-D DNA nanotubes
9. Researchers make breakthrough in the production of double-walled carbon nanotubes
10. MIT nanotubes sniff out cancer agents in living cells
11. UNC study on properties of carbon nanotubes, water could have wide-ranging implications
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Combining nanotubes and antibodies for breast cancer 'search and destroy' missions
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016   The Weather Company ... announcing Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which consumers will ... being able to ask questions via voice or text and ... Marketers have long sought an ... consumer, that can be personal, relevant and valuable; and can ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... IRVINE, Calif. , May 24, 2016 Ampronix facilitates superior patient care ... LMD3251MT  3D medical LCD display is the latest premium product recently added to ... ... ... Sony 3d Imaging- LCD Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... DALLAS , May 12, 2016 ... has just published the overview results from the Q1 ... of the recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a ... wearables data with a health insurance company. ... choose to share," says Michael LaColla , CEO ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Regular discussions on a ... take place between the two entities said Poloz. ... Ottawa , he pointed to the country,s ... the federal government. ... said, "Both institutions have common economic goals, why not sit ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in ... peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on ... biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...   Boston Biomedical , an industry leader ... target cancer stemness pathways, announced that its lead ... Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ... gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is an orally ... stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and is currently ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as ... the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship ... and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring ...
Breaking Biology Technology: