Using a sophisticated mathematical model that relates a wide variety of biological variables to disease progression, a research team has shown that accounting for the shape and physical characteristics of the tumor margin and invasiveness of the tumor accurately predicts how a particular tumor will develop and metastasize.
Quantum dots (QDs), nanoparticles that shine with extraordinary brightness when excited by light energy, have shown promise as new tools for detecting cancer at its earliest appearance, but concerns about potential toxicities have limited their clinical development. Researchers at the University of Buffalo may have found an answer to this limitation with their development of a new way to create QDs. Their work comes at an opportune time, because a team of investigators from the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) has shown that QDs can function as nanoscale thermometers to guide the numerous nanoparticle-based thermal therapies being developed to treat cancer.
A research team at Northwestern University has developed a tool that can precisely deliver tiny doses of drug-carrying nanomaterials to individual cells. The tool, called the nanofountain probe, functions in two different ways. In one mode, the probe acts like a fountain pen with drug-coated nanodiamonds serving as the ink, allowing researchers to create devices by 'writing' with it. The second mode functions as a single-cell syringe, permitting direct injection of biomolecules or chemicals into individual cells.
Carbon nanotubes, one of the original engineered nanomaterials, also may prove to be among the most versatile, as numerous teams of investigators continue to develop novel nanotube-based therapeutic and diagnostic tools. Over the past month, three new research papers have highlighted the potential of nanotubes as weapons against cancer.
By taking two standard laboratory techniques - capillary electrophoresis and antibody-based protein detection - and shrinking them to the nanoscale, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have created a new method for detecting miniscule changes in the levels of proteins associated with cancer.
A Stanford University School of Medicine team led by Cathy Shachaf, Ph.D., has for the first time used specially designed dye-containing nanoparticles to simultaneously image two features within single cells. Although current single-cell flow cytometry technologies can provide up to 17 simultaneous visualizations, this new method has the potential to do far more.
Researchers have created tools for the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer by attaching a molecule that binds specifically to pancreatic cancer cells to iron oxide nanoparticles that are clearly visible under magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Gold nanoshells are among the most promising new nanoscale therapeutics being developed to kill tumors, acting as antennas that turn light energy into heat that cooks cancer to death. Now, a multi-institutional research team has shown that polymer-coated gold nanorods one-up their spherical counterparts, with a single dose completely destroying all tumors in a nonhuman animal model of human cancer.
Two new construction manuals are now available for the world's smallest lamps. Based on these protocols, scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces have tailor-made nanoparticles that can be used as position lights on cell proteins and, possibly in the future as well, as light sources for display screens or for optical information technology.
In the bustling economy of the cell, little bubbles called vesicles serve as container ships, ferrying cargo to and from the port - the cell membrane. Some of these vesicles, called post-Golgi vesicles, export cargo made by the cell's protein factory. Scientists have long believed that other, similar vesicles handle the reverse function, importing life-supporting nutrients and proteins through an independent process. By using a finely honed type of microscopy to more precisely examine these transactions, new research shows the processes are not as independent as assumed: certain molecules handle cargo moving in both directions.
Wissenschaftler vom Institut für Biomedizinische Technik der ETH Zürich haben eine Nanospritze entwickelt, mit welcher Medikamente, DNA und RNA in eine einzelne Zelle injiziert werden können, ohne diese zu verletzen.