Nanoparticle delivery of cancer killing agents could improve chemotherapy; Research


Researchers have developed a nano-scale particle that could result in improvement of chemotherapy by delivering cancer killing agent.

This research has been done by researchers from Australian Center for Nanomedicine at the University of New South Wales in Sydney and published online in the journal of Chemical Communications.

According to experts, this research would be of great help in the types of cancer such as neuroblastoma that needs large amount of chemotherapy resulting in health problems.

Researchers in this study have developed nanometer sized particle that can deliver nitric oxide (NO) to the cancerous cells. They worked on neuroblastoma cells cultured in the lab and injected NO (gaseous) particles directly into the tumor cells and killed those cells. Neuroblastoma is the tumor of the embryonic nerve cells.

NO emission (Credit: Chemical Communications)

According to D Cyrille Boyer from the School of Chemical Engineering, one of the co-authors of the study, each particle is less than 20 nanometers across and made of a polymer coated with a molecule that is able to bind to the target cells. These nano-particles dissolved and released NO once entered the cell. “The encapsulation of S-nitrosoglutathione into polymeric nanoparticles substantially improves NO stability in aqueous media without affecting the efficacy of intracellular delivery.”

Researchers found that the requirement of chemotherapy reduced to one-fifth after the entry of NO into the cancer cells of neuroblastoma. They are also planning to work on other types of cancer cells.

This work has been done in the lab cultured cells and has not been tested on living organisms but it’s still a great step, said Boyer.


Hien T. T. Duong ,  Zulkamal M. Kamarudin ,  Rafael B. Erlich ,  Yang Li ,  Mathew W. Jones ,  Maria Kavallaris ,  Cyrille Boyer and Thomas P. Davis, (2012). Intracellular nitric oxide delivery from stable NO-polymeric nanoparticle carriers. Chemical Communications, DOI: 10.1039/C2CC37181B

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