Nanobubble cancer research at Rice shows promise
A new method researched at Rice University that uses nanobubbles in addition to chemotherapy has proven to be 30 times more effective at killing cancer cells than traditional drug treatment.
Researchers at Rice University, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine ran tests on drug-resistant cancer cells to develop new means to combat the disease.
The technique uses plasmonic nanobubbles, tiny pockets of hot air and water vapor released when a laser strikes a group of nanoparticles, to target single cancer cells without affecting healthy cells. Rice biologist and physicist, Dimitri Lapotko said, “We are delivering cancer drugs or other genetic cargo at the single-cell level.”
This method is not only more deadly to cancer cells, but it also requires less than one tenth the typical clinical dose. The bubbles form below the surface of cancer cells and burst, leaving openings to kill the cancerous cell or deliver gene therapies and therapeutic payloads directly into the cell.
According to the paper, co-authored by Dr. Malcolm Brenner, professor of medicine and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, this technique “has the potential to revolutionize drug delivery and gene therapy in diverse applications.”
The nanobubble method requires further research before it can be tested on humans.
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