Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tech & Science

Using nanoparticles to battle cancer

The key aspect with nanoparticle research in relation to cancer is fine-tuning the way by which nanoparticles can track down and attach to cancer cells. There are many aspects within the human body, both biochemical and physical, that can prevent this from happening.

Other issues that influence the nanoparticle size and composition, molecular targeting, surface chemistry, route of administration, cancer cell type, and tumor location. Nanoparticles can provide significant improvements in traditional biological imaging of cells and tissues using fluorescence microscopy as well as in modern magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of various regions of the body. Nanotechnology has also provided the possibility of delivering drugs to specific cells using nanoparticles.

To overcome these obstacles, researchers have been looking at ways to overcome these various factors. This is in relation to getting nanoparticles to home in on ovarian and breast cancers in animal models. For this they used antibody targeted iron oxide nanoparticles. The results showed that this type of nanoparticle was effective at detecting and biding to tumor tissue.

The research has implications for both future diagnosis (detecting cancer) and for delivering specific treatments. The research is now orientated towards finding the appropriate treatment for such nanoparticles to deliver.

The study was carried out at the Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering, and led by The research has been published in the journal International Journal of Nanomedicine, in a paper titled “Antibody-mediated targeting of iron oxide nanoparticles to the Folate receptor alpha increases tumor cell association in vitro and in vivo.”

Nanoparticles are materials with overall dimensions in the nanoscale, that is under 100 nanometers. Nanoparticles form the basis for the relatively new field of nanomedicine. Nanomedicine, in turn, is the medical application of nanotechnology.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

You may also like:


A major UN conference on how to restore the faltering health of global oceans kicked off in Lisbon this week with a flurry of...


Hong Kong will mark the 25th anniversary of the handover on Friday.


At least 46 migrants were found dead Monday in and around a tractor-trailer that was abandoned on the roadside on the outskirts of San...


Russia vowed its assault on Ukraine would continue until Kyiv surrenders, as world leaders warned that Moscow would pay for its aggression.