Navigation Links
DNA-built nanostructures safely target, image cancer tumors

A team of researchers at the University of Toronto has discovered a method of assembling "building blocks" of gold nanoparticles as the vehicle to deliver cancer medications or cancer-identifying markers directly into cancerous tumors. The study, led by Warren Chan, Professor at the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) and the Donnelly Centre for Cellular & Biomolecular Research (CCBR), appears in an article in Nature Nanotechnology this week.

"To get materials into a tumor they need to be a certain size," explains Chan. "Tumors are characterized by leaky vessels with holes roughly 50 500 nanometers in size, depending on the tumor type and stage. The goal is to deliver particles small enough to get through the holes and 'hang out' in the tumor's space for the particles to treat or image the cancer. If particle is too large, it can't get in, but if the particle is too small, it leaves the tumor very quickly."

Chan and his researchers solved this problem by creating modular structures 'glued' together with DNA. "We're using a 'molecular assembly' model - taking pieces of materials that we can now fabricate accurately and organizing them into precise architectures, like putting LEGO blocks together," cites Leo Chou, a 5th year PhD student at IBBME and first author of the paper. Chou was awarded a 2012-13 Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Ontario Region Fellowship for his work with nanotechnology.

"The major advantage of this design strategy is that it is highly modular, which allows you to 'swap' components in and out. This makes it very easy to create systems with multiple functions, or screen a large library of nanostructures for desirable biological behaviors," he states.

The long-term risk of toxicity from particles that remain in the body, however, has been a serious challenge to nanomedical research.

"Imagine you're a cancer patient in your 30s," describes Chan. "And you've had multiple injections of these metal particles. By the time you're in your mid-40s these are likely to be retained in your system and could potentially cause other problems."

DNA, though, is flexible, and over time, the body's natural enzymes cause the DNA to degrade, and the assemblage breaks apart. The body then eliminates the smaller particles safely and easily.

But while the researchers are excited about this breakthrough, Chan cautions that a great deal more needs to be known.

"We need to understand how DNA design influences the stability of things, and how a lack of stability might be helpful or not," he argues.

"The use of assembly to build complex and smart nanotechnology for cancer applications is still in the very primitive stage of development. Still, it is very exciting to be able to see and test the different nano-configurations for cancer applications," Chan adds.


Contact: Erin Vollick
University of Toronto

Related medicine news :

1. How to Use Acetaminophen Safely, From the January 2014 Harvard Men's Health Watch
2. Elimidrol from Sunrise Nutraceuticals Quickly, Safely Alleviates the Agony of Opiate Withdrawal
3. The Carb Nite Solution Book Teaches People How To Strip Their Stubborn Body Fat Safely And Rapidly – Vinamy
4. Tips for Using Tech Gifts Safely This Holiday Season
5. Learn How To Get Rid Of Warts Naturally And Safely With The “Combating Warts For Good” Book – Health Review Center
6. Cutting edge research into drug side effects could save NHS money and make more drugs safely available
7. Comprehensive Vein Treatment Center is Launching a New Social Media Campaign to Educate the Public about Safely Eliminating Varicose Veins
8. ADLware Home Care Software Partners with
9. HyperGH 14x, the Natural Supplement, is Finally Available at to Boost Muscle Growth Naturally and Safely
10. Laser Gum Surgery in Cumming, GA Can Now Safely Treat Pregnant Gum Disease Patients to Help Reduce the Risk of Low Birth Weight With Dr. Page Barden
11. Newborn Weight Loss
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... Jobs in hospital ... healthcare professionals and offered by healthcare staffing agency Aureus Medical Group . ... month of October 2015 among those searching for healthcare jobs through the company’s website, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... WorldCare ... participated in the 61st annual Employee Benefits Conference. The Employee Benefits Conference was ... November 8th through Wednesday, November 11th, 2015. The conference was held at the ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 ... ... platform for mental health and wellness consultation, has collaborated with Women’s Web ... address their reader’s queries on topics on mental and emotional well-being relationship, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Additional breast ... found on mammography, according to a study published online in the journal Radiology. ... on mammography may necessitate a change in treatment. , Breast MRI is the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... The holiday season is jam-packed with ... palates of attendees is of the utmost importance. Whether you are cooking at ... these recipes a try this holiday season. , Turkey Croquettes , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... Juntendo universitetssjukhus ser potential att använda ... magnetresonansbilder (MR-bilder) för patienter med multipel ... ett forskningsavtal med SyntheticMR AB för att ... forskningsprojekt på sjukhuset. Med SyMRI kan man ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... adds "Global Repaglinide Industry 2015 ... on China Repaglinide Market, 2010-2019" reports ... and information to its online business ... . --> ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... the addition of the "Radioimmunoassay Market ... User (Hospital, Pharmaceutical Industry, Academics, Clinical Diagnostic ... - Global Forecast to 2020" report ... ) has announced the addition of the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: