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Successful human tests for first wirelessly controlled drug-delivery chip

Two years ago, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the MIT-Harvard Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (CCNE) demonstrated in animal tests that an implantable microdevice could safely and accurately track a tumor marker in a living animal. Now these same investigators report on the first human clinical trials of an implantable microdevice capable of delivering drugs at the direction of an external wireless controller.

Posted: Apr 6th, 2012

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Nanoparticles enhance combination chemotherapy and radiation therapy

A mixture of current drugs and carbon nanoparticles shows potential to enhance treatment for head and neck cancers, especially when combined with radiation therapy, according to new research conducted by investigators at Rice University and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The therapy uses carbon nanoparticles to encapsulate chemotherapeutic drugs and sequester them until they are delivered to the cancer cells they are meant to kill.

Posted: Apr 6th, 2012

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DNA nanorobot targets therapeutic responses

Researchers at Harvard University have developed a robotic device made from DNA that potentially could seek out specific cell targets within a complex mixture of cell types and deliver important molecular instructions, such as telling cancer cells to self-destruct. Inspired by the mechanics of the body's own immune system, the technology might one day be used to program immune responses to treat various diseases.

Posted: Apr 6th, 2012

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Carbon nanotubes kill breast cancer stem cells

Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have shown that multi-walled carbon nanotubes injected into breast tumors and irradiated with a quick, 30-second laser beam, are effective at killing breast cancer stem cells.

Posted: Apr 6th, 2012

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Using radio waves to bake tumors

Nanothermal therapy - the use of nanoparticles to cook a tumor to death - is one of the many promising uses of nanotechnology to both improve the effectiveness of cancer therapy and reduce its side effects. Now, a team of investigators from the Texas Center for Cancer Nanomedicine has shown that liver cancer cells will take up targeted gold nanoparticles, absorb radio waves, and generate heat that damages the cells.

Posted: Apr 6th, 2012

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Quantum dots provide quantitative profile of pancreatic cancer biomarkers on single cells

With the aid of a novel set of lipid-coated, targeted quantum dots, researchers at Johns Hopkins University have developed a method for quantifying multiple specific biomarkers on the surfaces of individual cancer cells. This approach to quantitative biomarker detection stands to improve the histopathology methods used to diagnosis pancreatic and other cancers and enable the development of methods to spot cancer cells circulating in the blood stream.

Posted: Apr 6th, 2012

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Gold nanostars first to deliver drug directly to cancer cell nucleus

Nanotechnology offers powerful new possibilities for targeted cancer therapies, but the design challenges are many. Northwestern University scientists now are the first to develop a simple but specialized nanoparticle that can deliver a drug directly to a cancer cell's nucleus -- an important feature for effective treatment.

Posted: Apr 5th, 2012

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Crushing pressure, swelling pores

By squeezing a porous solid, scientists surprisingly made its cavities open wider, letting in - and trapping - europium ions. Given the similarities between europium and uranium ions, the team, based at the University of South Carolina, Yonsei University (Korea), and Stanford University, thinks the innovation could represent a promising new avenue for nuclear waste processing.

Posted: Apr 5th, 2012

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How to corner the MEMS market

Government investment in the manufacture of micromachines could pay huge dividends, but in the meantime, MIT researchers are developing new fabrication techniques.

Posted: Apr 5th, 2012

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