There’s a variety of methods currently being researched to deliver chemotherapy drugs to tumors without poisoning the rest of the body. Researchers at North Carolina State and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill have developed a technique to encapsulate doxorubicin and camptothecin, chemo agents, within flower-shaped carriers made of polyethylene glycol (PEG).
The so called “nanodaisies” are created by attaching camptothecin to the PEG so they hang off on one side of the surface. Doxorubicin is added to a solution with water, while the PEG sheets, being hydrophobic, curl up into a round shape capturing the drug that’s in the water solution. The PEG protects the drugs inside until the nanoparticle gets into a tumor. Once there, the outer shell breaks down and releases the payload right at the treatment site.
Here’s an animation demonstrating how the technology functions: