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UC San Diego researchers target tumors with tiny 'nanoworms'
Date:5/7/2008

s.

This is an important property because the longer these nanoworms can stay in the bloodstream, the more chances they have to hit their targets, the tumors, said Ji-Ho Park, a UC San Diego graduate student in materials science and engineering working in Sailors laboratory.

Park was the motivating force behind the discovery when he found by accident that the gummy worm aggregates of nanoparticles stayed for hours in the bloodstream despite their relatively large size.

While its not clear yet to the researchers why, Park notes that the nanoworms flexibly moving, one dimensional structure may be one the reasons for its long life in the bloodstream.

The researchers are now working on developing ways to attach drugs to the nanoworms and chemically treating their exteriors with specific chemical zip codes, that will allow them to be delivered to specific tumors, organs and other sites in the body.

We are now using nanoworms to construct the next generation of smart tumor-targeting nanodevices, said Ruoslahti. We hope that these devices will improve the diagnostic imaging of cancer and allow pinpoint targeting of treatments into cancerous tumors.


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Contact: Kim McDonald
kimmcdonald@ucsd.edu
858-534-7572
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

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