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Researchers develop magnetic molecular machines to deliver drugs to unhealthy cells
Date:8/10/2010

nanoparticles is of interest for its potential applications in magnetic resonance imaging, as addition of the magnetic core may make it useful as a contrast agent."

For this study, nanoparticles carrying the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin were introduced to and endocytosed by breast cancer cells. When the cancer cells containing the nanoparticles were then exposed to an oscillating magnetic field, cell death occurred.

"The novel magnetic-core silica nanoparticles are effective in activating nanovalves which release anti-cancer drugs when they are exposed to an oscillating magnetic field," Zink said.

The magnetic-field oscillation causes the zinc-doped iron oxide nanocrystals to heat. This increased heat causes the molecular machines to activate, and the doxorubicin in the pores is delivered into the cells.

"Magnetic nanocrystals are important in biomedical applications because they can be used for both therapeutics and imaging," said Cheon, director of the National Creative Research Initiative Center for Evolutionary Nanoparticles and the H.G. Underwood Professor of Chemistry and division head of the Nano-Medical National Core Research Center at Yonsei University.

"The ability to deliver anti-cancer drugs only to the cancer cells without affecting healthy cells is of key importance," added Cheon who is also a visiting professor at UCLA's CNSI.

Experiments for the research project were performed by UCLA graduate students Courtney Thomas and Daniel Ferris and Yonsei University graduate students Je-Hyun Lee and Eunsook Kim, who are part of the research group of professor Jeon-Soo Shin. The research team also involved Fraser Stoddard, a professor of chemistry at Northwestern University who began his collaboration with Zink while he was a professor of chemistry at UCLA. During his UCLA tenure, Stoddart served as Fred Kavli Chair of Nanosystems Sciences and director of the CNSI, positions now held by d
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Contact: Jennifer Marcus
jmarcus@cnsi.ucla.edu
310-267-4839
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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