Researchers at Brown University have developed a material that detracts the growth of breast cancer cells near it. The surface is made of poly-lactic-glycolic-acid nanotopographies that have been shown before to inhibit the activities of lung epithelial carcinoma cells.
The researchers believe this technology may help create all kinds of regenerative medicine products and hopefully reduce the amount of chemotherapeutics used in oncology
From the press release:
“We’ve created an (implant) surface with features that can at least decrease (cancerous) cell functions without having to use chemotherapeutics, radiation, or other processes to kill cancer cells,” said Thomas Webster, associate professor of engineering and the corresponding author on the paper in Nanotechnology. “It’s a surface that’s hospitable to healthy breast cells and less so for cancerous breast cells.”
Webster and his lab have been modifying various implant surfaces to promote the regeneration of bone, cartilage, skin, and other cells. In this work, he and Lijuan Zhang, a fourth-year graduate student in chemistry, sought to reshape an implant that could be used in breast reconstruction surgery that would not only attract healthy cells but also repel any lingering breast-cancer cells. The duo created a cast on a glass plate using 23-nanometer-diameter polystyrene beads and polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA), a biodegradable polymer approved by the FDA and used widely in clinical settings, such as stitches. The result: An implant whose surface was covered with adjoining, 23-nanometer-high pimples. The pair also created PLGA implant surfaces with 300-nanometer and 400-nanometer peaks for comparison.
In lab tests after one day, the 23-nanometer-peak surfaces showed a 15-percent decrease in the production of a protein (VEGF) upon which endothelial breast-cancer cells depend, compared to an implant surface with no surface modification. The 23-nanometer surface showed greater reduction in VEGF concentration when compared to the 300-nanometer and 400-nanometer-modified implants as well.
Press release: ‘Bed-of-nails’ breast implant deters cancer cells…
Abstract in Nanotechnology: Poly-lactic-glycolic-acid surface nanotopographies selectively decrease breast adenocarcinoma cell functions