Nanocapsules filled with cancer medications could help fight cancer.
The field of nanotechnology holds a great deal of promise in the treatment of cancer.
For instance, in a recent breakthrough, researchers used nanoparticles to spot previously undetectable microtumors, while another study used nanoparticles derived from tea leaves to destroy lung cancer cells.
Nanoparticles are often used to transport drugs and deliver them straight to diseased tissue. These so-called nanocarriers were recently used to successfully destroy a particularly aggressive form of endometrial cancer, and to deliver a drug that genetically “disarms” cancer stem cells.
These drug-filled nanocapsules are about a thousandth of the diameter of a human hair, and they are usually covered with antibodies designed to seek out and attach to tumor cells.
One main advantage of these nanocarriers is that they deliver concentrated drugs with precision, without affecting the rest of the body and dispersing its potential side effects.
Now, researchers at the Mainz University Medical Center and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research — both in Mainz, Germany — have engineered an innovative and more effective way of binding the antibodies to the nanocarriers.
Prof. Volker Mailänder, at Mainz University Medical Center, supervised the research together with Prof. Katharina Landfester, from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research.
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