Number of ways have been developed that allow nanoparticles to kill cancer cells. Some of these include delivering chemo agents, converting electromagnetic energy beamed into heat, and manipulating with the signaling processes of tumor cells.
An international team of researchers is now reporting in journal Theranostics a way of bunching iron oxide particles doped with zinc around tumors and then crushing the nearby cells using an external magnetic field. The nanoparticles have epidermal growth factor peptides attached to them, helping the particles to hone in on a tumor. Once they’ve gathered together, a rotating magnetic field is applied at 15 Hz. This causes the nanoparticles to gather in stretched out groups that look like long grains of rice, in the process damaging the plasma and lysosomal membranes and leading to cellular death.
Because no drugs are used and the materials used have low toxicity, this may be a indication that safer, mechanical approaches to nanoparticle based tumor treatment may help avoid the nasty side effects of cancer drugs.
Study in journal Theranostics: Elongated Nanoparticle Aggregates in Cancer Cells for Mechanical Destruction with Low Frequency Rotating Magnetic Field…