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Self-assembling anti-cancer molecules created in minutes
Date:8/3/2014

downhill. The assembly instructions are encoded in the chemicals themselves."

"Once the solvent has been removed we are left with the peptide mimics in the form of crystals", says Professor Scott. "There are no complicated separations to do, and unlike a Lego model kit there are no mysterious bits left over. In practical terms, the chemistry is pretty conventional. The beauty is that these big molecules assemble themselves. Nature uses this kind of self-assembly to make complex asymmetric molecules like proteins all the time, but doing it artificially is a major challenge."

Whilst the peptide mimics created by the process have been successful in laboratory tests on colon cancer cells they will require further research before they can be used in clinical trials on patients. Nevertheless they are made of simple building blocks and in early tests the team have shown that they have very low toxicity to bacteria. "This is very unusual and promising selectivity," says Professor Scott.


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Contact: Tom Frew
A.T.Frew@warwick.ac.uk
44-247-657-5910
University of Warwick
Source:Eurekalert  

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