Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Smart Anticancer "Nanofiber Mesh"

A MANA research team has developed a new nanofiber mesh which is capable of simultaneously realizing thermotherapy (hyperthermia) and chemotherapy (treatment with anticancer drugs) of tumors. They succeeded in efficiently inducing natural death (apoptosis) of epithelial cancer cells.

Success in Inducing Natural Death of Epithelial Cancer Cells by Simultaneously Realizing Thermotherapy and Chemotherapy

Cancer treatment using the nanofiber mesh with self-heating/anticancer drug release functions.

A research team headed by Dr. Mitsuhiro Ebara, a MANA Scientist of the Biomaterials Unit (Unit Director: Takao Aoyagi) of the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (Director-General: Masakazu Aono), National Institute for Materials Science (President: Sukekatsu Ushioda) developed a new nanofiber mesh which is capable of simultaneously realizing thermotherapy (hyperthermia) and chemotherapy (treatment with anticancer drugs) of tumors. Using this nanofiber mesh, the team succeeded in efficiently inducing natural death (apoptosis) of epithelial cancer cells.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is an epithelial malignant tumor, and is found in many tissues. For example, SCC is thought to account for more than 90% of esophageal cancers, more than 80% of the cervical cancers, and more than 30% of lung cancers.

Although surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are now three main therapeutic methods according to the stages of cancers, in addition to these methods, thermotherapy has also attracted great attention in recent years. This is because it is possible to induce extinction of cancer cells by heat, as cancer cells are relatively susceptible to heat in comparison with normal cells. It has also been found that thermotherapy enhances the effect of anticancer drugs when used in conjunction with chemotherapy. However, when actually applying thermotherapy and administering anticancer drugs, the two independent therapies must be applied separately, and until now, precise control to realize treatment at the same time and same location had been difficult.

In this research, the team led by Dr. Ebara overcame this problem and succeeded in development of a method for simultaneously performing thermotherapy and chemotherapy of epithelial malignant tumors. The team developed a mesh material which is applied directly to the affected part, and is a hybrid material that combines a temperature-responsive polymer, magnetic nanoparticles, and anticancer drugs.
Although magnetic thermotherapy techniques which administer magnetic nanoparticles directly in the body have been developed previously, the difficulty of handling nanoparticles and the concerns regarding the safety of the magnetic nanoparticles themselves are the problems. The developed nanofiber mesh is easy to handle and can also be used in endoscopic surgery, etc. Moreover, because the magnetic particles contained in the fibers exist stably, diffusion in the body is minimized. For this reason, the developed method is considered to offer higher safety in comparison with methods in which magnetic particles are administered directly.

As the nanofiber mesh contains magnetic nanoparticles, which are a self-heating substance, it is possible to heat the fibers by applying an alternating magnetic field. Furthermore, the temperature-responsive polymer contracts in response to the heat generated by the magnetic nanoparticles, enabling release of the anticancer drugs contained in the nanofiber mesh. When the anticancer activity of this fiber was investigated using a human melanoma cell strain, it was found that ON-OFF control of inducement of apoptosis of the cancer cells was possible by applying an alternating magnetic field.
In 21st century, time-space control of the treatment of diseases is required. That is, it should be possible to administer drugs, etc. at an arbitrary timing and location. Because the newly-developed nanofiber mesh enables simultaneous ON-OFF control of heating of the affected part and drug release, simply by applying an external stimulus, it is considered to be a major advance in the development of next-generation therapeutic materials for 21st century medicine.

Journal information
This research achievement had been announced in the online bulletin of the scientific journal "Advanced Functional Materials" on June 14, 2013.

Mikiko Tanifuji | Research asia research news
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

A new kind of quantum bits in two dimensions

19.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists have a new way to gauge the growth of nanowires

19.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>