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article imageDynamic chemistry produces nano-derived anticancer drugs

By Tim Sandle     May 16, 2017 in Science
Aalto University in Finland scientists have produced a new range of anticancer nanomaterials inspired by volcano-induced dynamic chemistry of the deep ocean. The process involves creating synthesized zinc peroxide nanoparticles.
The Finnish researchers have successfully simulating the volcano-induced dynamic chemistry of the deep ocean in order to generate nanoclusters of zinc peroxide. The environmentally friendly technology leads to the production of zinc peroxide nanoparticles that can be utilized for cancer therapy.
The science behind the production of the nanoclusters is called the Leidenfrost effect. The Leidenfrost effect refers to a physical phenomenon whereby a liquid, placed in near contact with a mass significantly hotter than the liquid's boiling point, generates an insulating vapor layer that keeps the liquid from boiling rapidly. Repulsive forces lead to droplets hovering over the surface instead of making physical contact with it.
The effect occurs close to volcano gates deep in the ocean where a vapor layer can cover a large area without rising away from the surface. Creating the effect in the laboratory has practical uses, as Professor Mady Elbahri explains to Controlled Environments: “The dynamic underwater chemistry seen in nature is inspiring for the next generation of eco-friendly nanochemistry. In this context, green synthesis of size-tailored nanoparticles in a facile and scalable manner via a dynamic process has not been introduced so far.”
In the laboratory the researchers utilized the hydrodynamic nature of the phenomenon to allow for the eruption of the nanoclusters towards a colder region. This led to the production of monodisperse, size-tailored nanoclusters.
The zinc peroxides produced can be used to act as oxygen suppliers and applied to the treatment of a set of diseases, such as cancerous cells. In trials the cytotoxic (cancer-killing) effect of the nanoparticles was demonstrated and the success has been heralded as a step-forward in cancer nanotherapeutics.
The production of the nanoparticles has been reported to the journal Nature Communications. The research paper is headed “Underwater Leidenfrost nanochemistry for creation of size-tailored zinc peroxide cancer nanotherapeutics.”
More about anticancer, Cancer, Oceans, Laboratory
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