More news from UCSF on the use of gold nanoparticles in oncology research (also see previously published in Medgadget ‘Researchers Demonstrate Use of Gold Nanoparticles for CA Detection’):
Building on their previous work that used gold nanoparticles to detect cancer, researchers now are heating the particles and using them as agents to destroy malignant cells…
Many cancer cells have a protein, known as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), all over their surface, while healthy cells typically do not express the protein as strongly. By conjugating, or binding, the gold nanoparticles to an antibody for EGFR, suitably named anti-EGFR, the researchers were able to get the nanoparticles to specifically attach themselves to the cancer cells.
In the new study, the researchers incubated two oral squamous carcinoma cell lines and one benign epithelial cell line with anti-EGFR conjugated gold nanoparticles, and then exposed them to a continuous visible argon laser. “The malignant cells required less than half the laser energy to be killed than the benign cells,” said Ivan. “In addition, we observed no photothermal destruction of any type of cell in the absence of gold nanoparticles at these low laser powers.
“We now have the potential to design an ‘all-in-one’ active agent that can be used to noninvasively find the cancer and then kill it,” Ivan said. “This holds great promise for a number of types of cancer.”
The press release…
Picture caption: Light scattering images of HSC malignant cells after incubation with anti-EGFR antibody conjugated gold nanoparticles.