Satellite Banner
Genomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

New Method Sneaks Drugs into Cancer Cells Before Triggering Release

Published: Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Last Updated: Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Biomedical engineering researchers have developed an anti-cancer drug delivery method that essentially smuggles the drug into a cancer cell before triggering its release.

The method can be likened to keeping a cancer-killing bomb and its detonator separate until they are inside a cancer cell, where they then combine to destroy the cell.

“This is an efficient, fast-acting way of delivering drugs to cancer cells and triggering cell death,” says Dr. Ran Mo, lead author of a paper on the work and a postdoctoral researcher in the joint biomedical engineering program at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We also used lipid-based nanocapsules that are already in use for clinical applications, making it closer to use in the real world.”

The technique uses nanoscale lipid-based capsules, or liposomes, to deliver both the drug and the release mechanism into cancer cells. One set of liposomes contains adenosine-5’-triphosphate (ATP), the so-called “energy molecule.” A second set of liposomes contains an anti-cancer drug called doxorubicin (Dox) that is embedded in a complex of DNA molecules. When the DNA molecules come into contact with high levels of ATP, they unfold and release the Dox. The surface of the liposomes is integrated with positively charged lipids or peptides, which act as corkscrews to introduce the liposomes into cancer cells.

As the liposomes are absorbed into a cancer cell, they are sealed off from the rest of the cell in an endosome – a compartment that walls off all foreign material that gets into a cell.

The environment inside an endosome is acidic, which causes the Dox liposomes and ATP liposomes to fuse together, as well as to the wall of the endosome itself.

Meanwhile, two other things are happening simultaneously. First, the ATP liposomes spill their ATP into the Dox liposomes, releasing the Dox from its DNA cage. Second, the walls of the Dox liposomes create an opening in the endosome, spilling their Dox-rich contents into the surrounding cell – leading to cell death.

In a mouse model, the researchers found that the new technique significantly decreased the size of breast cancer tumors compared to treatment that used Dox without the nanoscale liposomes.

“This work is somewhat similar to previous research we’ve done with polymer-based nanogels – but there is a key difference,” says Dr. Zhen Gu, senior author of the paper and an assistant professor in the joint biomedical engineering program. “The difference is that this liposome-based technique allows us to introduce additional ATP into the cancer cell, releasing the drug more quickly.

“Being able to adjust ATP levels is important because some cancer cells are ATP deficient,” Gu adds. “But this technique would work even in those environments.”

The paper, “Enhanced Anticancer Efficacy by ATP-Mediated Liposomal Drug Delivery,” is published online in Angewandte Chemie. The paper was co-authored by Tianyue Jiang, a Ph.D. student in the joint biomedical engineering program. The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health under grant 1UL1TR001111 and funding from NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill.


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,400+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,600+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

‘Nanodaisies’ Deliver Drug Cocktail to Cancer Cells
The daisy-shaped, nanoscale structures are made predominantly of anti-cancer drugs and are capable of introducing a “cocktail” of multiple drugs into cancer cells.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Injectable ‘Smart Sponge’ Holds Promise for Controlled Drug Delivery
Researchers have developed a drug delivery technique for diabetes treatment in which a sponge-like material surrounds an insulin core.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Scientific News
RNAi Screening Trends
Understand current trends and learn which application areas are expected to gain in popularity over the next few years.
Tracking Breast Cancer Before it Grows
A team of scientists led by University of Saskatchewan researcher Saroj Kumar is using cutting-edge Canadian Light Source techniques to screen and treat breast cancer at its earliest changes.
DNA Damage Seen in Patients Undergoing CT Scanning
Along with the burgeoning use of advanced medical imaging tests over the past decade have come rising public health concerns about possible links between low-dose radiation and cancer.
The Mystery of the Instant Noodle Chromosomes
Researchers from the Lomonosov Moscow State University evaluated the benefits of placing the DNA on the principle of spaghetti.
Oxitec ‘Self-Limiting Gene’ Offers Hope for Controlling Invasive Moth
A new pesticide-free and environmentally-friendly way to control insect pests has moved ahead with the publication of results showing that Oxitec diamondback moths (DBM) with a ‘self-limiting gene’ can dramatically reduce populations of DBM.
Web App Helps Researchers Explore Cancer Genetics
Brown University computer scientists have developed a new interactive tool to help researchers and clinicians explore the genetic underpinnings of cancer.
Kiwi Bird Genome Sequenced
The kiwi, national symbol of New Zealand, gives insights into the evolution of nocturnal animals.
Scientists Identify Schizophrenia’s “Rosetta Stone” Gene
Scientists have identified a critical function of what they believe to be schizophrenia’s “Rosetta Stone” gene that could hold the key to decoding the function of all genes involved in the disease.
Yeast Cells Use Signaling Pathway to Modify Their Genomes
Researchers at the Babraham Institute and Cambridge Systems Biology Centre, University of Cambridge have shown that yeast can modify their genomes to take advantage of an excess of calories in the environment and attain optimal growth.
Nanoparticles Can Clean Up Environmental Pollutants
Researchers have found that nanomaterials and UV light can “trap” chemicals for easy removal from soil and water.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,400+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,600+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!