Turning cancer cells into mini "magnets" by using nanoparticles
Turning cancer cells into mini magnets by using nanoparticles could make biopsies so sensitive and efficient that there will be no need to repeat these invasive tests.
Biopsy results can be ambiguous: sometimes they can be negative simply because there are too few malignant cells in the sample to be detected Ð not because all trace of disease has gone. Now researchers from the University of New Mexico and the company Senior Scientific, both in Albuquerque, have come up with a solution that harnesses the power of magnetic attraction.
The idea is to use magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles encased in a biocompatible material. These in turn can be coated with antibodies that bind to chemicals found only in cancerous cells. When injected into the body, thousands of the particles stick to cancer cells, turning them into miniature magnets. The cells can then be drawn towards magnets encased in the tip of a biopsy needle (Physics in Medicine and Biology, vol 52, p 4009).
A mathematical model of the system confirmed that significant numbers of cancer cells, laden with nanoparticles, could be attracted to a needle within two or three minutes. In the lab....Read More....Click Here
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