Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Nanoparticles Could Lead To End Of Chemotherapy

Date:
June 17, 2009
Source:
University of Central Florida
Summary:
Specially engineered nanoparticles could someday target and destroy tumors, sparing patients from toxic, whole-body chemotherapies.

Dr. Manuel Perez and his team have been investigating the use of nanoparticles for medicine for years.
Credit: Jacque Brund

Nanoparticles specially engineered by University of Central Florida Assistant Professor J. Manuel Perez and his colleagues could someday target and destroy tumors, sparing patients from toxic, whole-body chemotherapies.

Related Articles


Perez and his team used a drug called Taxol for their cell culture studies, recently published in the journal Small, because it is one of the most widely used chemotherapeutic drugs. Taxol normally causes many negative side effects because it travels throughout the body and damages healthy tissue as well as cancer cells.

The Taxol-carrying nanoparticles engineered in Perez's laboratory are modified so they carry the drug only to the cancer cells, allowing targeted cancer treatment without harming healthy cells. This is achieved by attaching a vitamin (folic acid) derivative that cancer cells like to consume in high amounts.

Because the nanoparticles also carry a fluorescent dye and an iron oxide magnetic core, their locations within the cells and the body can be seen by optical imaging and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). That allows a physician to see how the tumor is responding to the treatment.

The nanoparticles also can be engineered without the drug and used as imaging (contrast) agents for cancer. If there is no cancer, the biodegradable nanoparticles will not bind to the tissue and will be eliminated by the liver. The iron oxide core will be utilized as regular iron in the body.

"What's unique about our work is that the nanoparticle has a dual role, as a diagnostic and therapeutic agent in a biodegradable and biocompatible vehicle," Perez said.

Perez has spent the past five years looking at ways nanotechnology can be used to help diagnose, image and treat cancer and infectious diseases. It's part of the quickly evolving world of nanomedicine.

The process works like this. Cancer cells in the tumor connect with the engineered nanoparticles via cell receptors that can be regarded as "doors" or "docking stations." The nanoparticles enter the cell and release their cargo of iron oxide, fluorescent dye and drugs, allowing dual imaging and treatment.

"Although the results from the cell cultures are preliminary, they are very encouraging," Perez said.

A new chemistry called "click chemistry" was utilized to attach the targeting molecule (folic acid) to the nanoparticles. This chemistry allows for the easy and specific attachment of molecules to nanoparticles without unwanted side products. It also allows for the easy attachment of other molecules to nanoparticles to specifically seek out particular tumors and other malignancies.

Perez's study builds on his prior research published in the journal Angewandte Chemie Int. Ed. His work has been partially funded by a National Institutes of Health grant and a Nanoscience Technology Center start-up fund.

"Our work is an important beginning, because it demonstrates an avenue for using nanotechnology not only to diagnose but also to treat cancer, potentially at an early stage," Perez said.

Perez, a Puerto Rico native, joined UCF in 2005. He works at UCF's NanoScience Technology Center and Chemistry Department and in the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Medicine. He has a Ph.D. from Boston University in Biochemistry and completed postdoctoral training at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School's teaching and research hospital.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Central Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Central Florida. "New Nanoparticles Could Lead To End Of Chemotherapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090616121343.htm>.
University of Central Florida. (2009, June 17). New Nanoparticles Could Lead To End Of Chemotherapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090616121343.htm
University of Central Florida. "New Nanoparticles Could Lead To End Of Chemotherapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090616121343.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins