As everyone knows, in life often the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Sometimes, by bringing already available technologies together, a brand new capability presents itself. In cancer research, drugs, X-rays, lasers, and gold nanoparticles have all been used in different ways, often complementing each other to improve the effectiveness of a treatment. Now researchers at Rice University have developed a new approach that combines all four technologies to effectively kill aggressive cancer cells by literally exploding them. They dubbed the technology quadrapeutics, which significantly amplifies the killing effect of anti-cancer drugs and chemo, but only in cancer cells.
The technique harnesses plasmonic nanobubbles, tiny droplets of vapor that form around plasmonic gold nanoparticles, which can then pop and try to destroy the cell from within. If it doesn’t, the explosion causes the delivered drug to be spread through the cells and the effect of the chemotherapy also becomes more pronounced. The three modes of action combine to be effective even against aggressive tumors, as the team reported in the latest Nature Medicine.
Here are Rice University researchers talking about quadrapeutics and showing off videos of exploding cells:
Study in Nature Medicine: On-demand intracellular amplification of chemoradiation with cancer-specific plasmonic nanobubbles…