A step further is the use of the gold particles in actual treatment of cancer. For new in vitro and preclinical tests, the scientists have received funding from the Dutch research programme IOP Photonic Devices.
Gold nanoparticles have highly interesting properties: they can be heated rapidly whenever infrared light of the right wavelength touches them. By attaching antibodies to the nanorods, which can recognize a specific cancer cell, this heating phenomenon can be used in cancer detection. Heating of the gold results in a varying pressure near the particle. This pressure change, in turn is expressed in the generation of ultrasound. In this way, light from a laser eventually results in sound. This acoustic signal gives valuable information about the presence of cancer cells.
The scientists led by prof. Ton van Leeuwen of the Biophysical Engineering Group expect better results than currently possible with imaging techniques. X-Ray and MRI, for example, both have insufficient contrast to discern cancer cells from healthy tissue in the very beginning of the disease.
The phenomenon resulting in rapid heating of the gold particles, is called plasmon resonance: the shape of the particles determines the wavelength at which this happens. The temperature rise can be up to 100 degrees. For the scientists this is an indication for possible use in cancer treatment. Photothermal therapy would use the heated gold to destroy the tumor. Another option would be to include gold particles in capsules filled with cancer medication: the capsule attaches to the cancer cell, is heated and the medicine is released locally.
Both diagnostic and therapeutic applications will be investigated by the UT scientists together with colleagues from the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam and two companies: Esoate Europe and Luminostix. The project is financed from the innovation oriented programme IOP Photonic Devices of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. Dr. Srirang Manohar from the Biophysical Engineering group already received a VENI grant for his initial research on the applications of gold nanoparticles, and there’s also been related research within the Non Invasive Molecular Tumor Imaging and Killing (NIMTIK) focus project of the BMTI Institute.
Wiebe van der Veen | alfa
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
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Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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