Improving Targeted Nanoparticles

A great deal of tomorrow's better, more effective medicine will rest on targeting nanosystems that can deliver therapies to specific cell populations in the body. Much of this development is taking place in the cancer research community, but you can be sure there are a thousand and one other uses: "Using nanoworms, doctors should eventually be able to target and reveal the location of developing tumors that are too small to detect by conventional methods. Carrying payloads targeted to specific features on tumors, these microscopic vehicles could also one day provide the means to more effectively deliver toxic anti-cancer drugs to these tumors in high concentrations without negatively impacting other parts of the body. ... Most nanoparticles are recognized by the body's protective mechanisms, which capture and remove them from the bloodstream within a few minutes. The reason these worms work so well is due to a combination of their shape and to a polymer coating on their surfaces that allows the nanoworms to evade these natural elimination processes. As a result, our nanoworms can circulate in the body of a mouse for many hours. ... We are now using nanoworms to construct the next generation of smart tumor-targeting nanodevices."

Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080506200531.htm

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