Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

More light on cancer

20.05.2016

Scientists created nanoparticles to highlight cancer cells

The group of Russian and French researchers, with the participation of scientists from the Lomonosov Moscow State University, has succeeded to synthesize nanoparticles of ultrapure silicon, which exhibited the property of efficient photoluminescence, i.e., secondary light emission after photoexcitation. These particles were able to easily penetrate into cancer cells and it allowed to use them as luminescent markers in the early diagnosis of cancer and in treatments of this disease. The article was published in the journal Scientific Reports.


These are confocal fluorescence microscopy images of CF2Th cancer cells incubated with LA-Si NPs.

Credit: Victor Timoshenko/Scientific Reports

Investigations to find methods for synthesizing such nanoparticles are actively conducted in many laboratories around the world, however, according to one of the study co-authors, professor of the Physics Department of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Victor Timoshenko, the particles' quality was poor, mainly because they were synthesized by chemical reactions in acid solutions.

'The obtained particles were not sufficiently pure,' he says. 'By-products of the chemical reactions made them toxic. Furthermore, these nanoparticles had a form, which was far from a sphere, and it does not contribute to the appearance of the photoluminescence. These two drawbacks severely restricted their applications'.

To get rid of these shortcomings, the researchers decided to use a different method, with no positive results previously -- the so-called laser ablation, i.e. the ejection of atoms from the target with a laser beam, so that the torn atoms would form a nanocrystal then.

The problem here was that the atoms torn in this case often did not combine to particles, but to some arbitrary layers, and even if the nanoparticles were obtained, they did not shine. It happened as either the nanoparticles were too large, or they cool down too quickly and did not have time to form high-quality nanocrystals. In other words, it was necessary to warm them, to encourage crystallization for a very short time.

'For that purpose, we decided to use high-intensity, short laser pulses,' Professor Timoshenko says. 'They not only ejected the silicon atoms from the target, but additionally ionized them. The emitted electrons led to the ionization of helium atoms, in which atmosphere it all was happening.

In a very short time of nanoseconds something of a microwave kind appeared, laser plasma formed the conditions that allowed the atoms to sinter into spherical nano-crystals. These beads falling onto the surface aggregated as a fluffy layer, which subsequently could be readily dispersed in water'.

These nanoparticles had spherical shape and were just the right size -- 2-4 nanometers in diameter -- which, as physicists have well known, provided efficient photoluminescence where each falling photon is balanced with one ejected. In contrast to nanoparticles obtained by chemical etching, they were deprived of toxic additives. And most importantly, as demonstrated by biological experiments, they could easily penetrate into the cells.

Moreover, into the cancer cells such nanospheres penetrate much more readily than into the healthy ones. This is due to the fact that the cancer cells are always ready to divide, always absorbs everything around to give rise to daughter cells. According to Victor Timoshenko, depending on the type of cells, cancer cells typically absorb nanoparticles 20-30% percent more efficiently than the healthy ones, and this can already lay a basis for the diagnostic of cancer at its' early stage.

'Our main achievement was that we produced such nanoparticles and established that they easily penetrate into cancer cells,' Victor Timoshenko said. 'The problem of the diagnostic is a separate task, which is solved simultaneously by biologists, with our participation. You can, for example, replace the analysis of biopsy, a fairly long and not too reliable "yes-no" test, in which the cancer cells in the body are detected by the fact whether a nanoparticle penetrated a tissue sample, or it did not.

There are also non-invasive diagnostic methods. The photoluminescent light emitted from the nanoparticles in this case is difficult to use, but they can be activated by other means, for example, ultrasound or radio frequency electromagnetic waves'.

The main advantage of the obtained nanoparticles is that they are completely non-toxic and easily excreted. But their advantage is not reduced to that. They also can attach specific substance or group of biomolecules (e.g., antibodies) to their surface, allowing us to target them to penetration into cancer cells and thereby increase the efficiency of diagnosis. According to Victor Timoshenko, in the future those obtained nanoparticles will also have the drug attached, that will not only detect cancer, but also help to conduct a local chemotherapy or radiotherapy on the cellular level.

Media Contact

Vladimir Koryagin
science-release@rector.msu.ru

http://www.msu.ru 

Vladimir Koryagin | EurekAlert!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Using fragment-based approaches to discover new antibiotics
21.06.2018 | SLAS (Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening)

nachricht Scientists learn more about how gene linked to autism affects brain
19.06.2018 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

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: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>