Malignant cells are notorious for their ability to break away from a tumor, migrate to other seemingly targeted locations in the body, and establish new tumors, called metastases. The biochemical signals that guide tumor cell migration are poorly understood, but efforts to find those signals should receive a boost thanks to a new microfluidics device designed specifically to track how breast cancer cells move in response to chemical signals.
One of the unique features of nanoscale materials is that they are often of the same size as most biomolecules, and thus can be used to study intracellular biochemistry without themselves having much of an impact on normal cellular function. Now, an international team led by investigators at McGill University has taken advantage of the small size of quantum dots to create a nanoscale device that can report on the oxidative conditions within a cell.
One of the major goals of cancer nanotechnology research is to develop nanoparticles that deliver cancer imaging agents and anticancer drugs specifically to tumors. Two new reports highlight new approaches to creating targeted nanoscale devices for diagnostic and therapeutic applications in cancer.
As scientists and engineers build devices at smaller and smaller scales, grasping the dynamics of how materials behave when they are subjected to electrical signals, sound and other manipulations has proven to be beyond the reach of standard scientific techniques.
Even the smallest devices, assembled at the molecular level, need motors and oscillators. UC Riverside researchers think bundling groups of carbon nanotubes together could make an ultra-efficient and accurate nano-oscillator.
Gold nanoparticles, which can turn light into intense heat, are showing significant promise as targeted nanoscale thermal scalpels capable of killing cancer cells without damaging healthy tissue. Two new reports now suggest that gold nanoparticles may also be able to deliver additional therapeutic payloads to provide a simultaneous two-pronged attack on malignant cells.
Modern-day doctors may soon start using smell to detect the early warning signs of different illnesses thanks to technology that replicates - and improves upon - the human olfactory system thanks to tiny bioelectronic sensors.
Researchers have devised a method that could allow them to organize tiny molecular machines on a surface and so build devices that pack in thousands of times as many switching units, for instance, than is possible with a conventional silicon chip.