Gold Nanoparticles and Laser Light Versus Cancer

A lot of work has taken place in recent years on killing cancer cells by heating targeted nanoparticles. Here is an example of the present state of the art: "When irradiated with light, gold nanoparticles become hot quickly, hot enough to generate explosive microbubbles that will kill nearby cancer cells ... To boost this approach, researchers [have] developed a method for creating supramolecular assemblies of gold nanoparticles that function as highly efficient photothermal agents of a size designed to optimize their delivery to tumors. ... They first took gold nanoparticles, 2 nanometers in diameter, and decorated the nanoparticles' surface with adamantane. They then added two other constructs: cyclodextrin attached to a biocompatible polymer known as polyethylenimine, and adamantane linked to polyethylene glycol, another biocompatible polymer. When combined in various ratios, these three constructs quickly assemble into nanoparticles with well defined sizes ranging from 40 to 118 nanometers in diameter. Once the complexes were purified, the researchers then attached a tumor targeting molecule to the surface of the resulting supramolecular complexes. ... when irradiated with a laser beam, the temperature of the assemblies rapidly soared above 374 C, the temperature at which explosive microbubbles form."


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