Gold Used in Cancer Drug Delivery System

Source:

"lasers. . .heat specially-coated gold nanoparticles to burn up cancerous cells while leaving healthy tissue unaffected."

Gold nanoshells have been used by scientists at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) in a new system that could allow doctors to deliver drugs directly into cancer cells using laser light.

The researchers, whose findings are published by the American Chemical Society, took cancer cells from mice and grew them in a culture, Science Centric reports.

Gold nanoshells with a peptide-lipid coating were then used to deliver silencing ribonucleic acid, or siRNA, to the cells.

When the nanoparticles were exposed to a near-infrared laser, they released the siRNA cargo.

UCSB graduate student Gary Braun, who worked under Professor Norbert Reich on the research, said: "Laser-controlled release is a convenient and powerful tool, allowing precise dosing of particular cells within a group."

Separate research recently published by Professor Romain Quidant of the Institute of Photonic Science in Spain indicated that lasers could be used to heat specially coated gold nanoparticles to burn up cancerous cells while leaving healthy tissue unaffected.

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