New nanoparticle might find, treat cancer

Dec. 16, 2009 at 2:49 PM
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HOUSTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say they've created a nanoparticle that might be able to allow both cancer diagnosis and treatment during one hospital visit.

Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine researchers said their single nanoparticle can be tracked in real time with magnetic resonance imaging as it homes in on cancer cells, tags them with a fluorescent dye and then kills them with heat.

"Some of the most essential questions in nanomedicine today are about biodistribution -- where particles go inside the body and how they get there," said study co-author Professor Naomi Halas. "Non-invasive tests for biodistribution will be enormously useful on the path to FDA approval, and this technique -- adding MRI functionality to the particle you're testing and using for therapy -- is a very promising way of doing this."

The new research that included graduate student, Rizia Bardhan and Baylor Assistant Professor Amit Joshi appears online in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

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