Print 4 comment(s) - last by Regs.. on Feb 11 at 12:59 PM

Bubbles are created inside a cell using lasers and nano-size gold particles

The amount of money and time spent on research into treatments and cures for various cancers is staggering. Scientists are increasingly turning to high-tech methods of detecting and treating cancer that use nano-sized objects to deliver meds and kill cancer cells directly.

In October 2009, scientists developed  a new medication delivery system that is capable of delivering medications into the cells of the body. The “shuttle” would take the medications into a cell and could be opened remotely when needed.

Physicists at Rice University have developed  a new method of killing cancer cells using what they call nanobubbles.

The research team uses lasers and nanoparticles in a technique that is able to single out disease cells and destroy them with tiny explosions. The nanobubbles are created by hitting tiny nanoparticles of gold with  a laser inside the cell. In tests, the researchers found that they could tune the laser to make bright visible bubbles that don’t kill the cancer cells or large bubbles that bust the cells killing them.

Physicist Dmitri Lapotko from Rice said, "Single-cell targeting is one of the most touted advantages of nanomedicine, and our approach delivers on that promise with a localized effect inside an individual cell. The idea is to spot and treat unhealthy cells early, before a disease progresses to the point of making people extremely ill."

The nanobubbles are created when the gold particles are hit by short laser pulses. The bubble size can be varied by controlling the strength of the laser and the bubbles produced are very short lived. The visible bubbles can be seen under a microscope allowing the technique to be used as a method of diagnosing sick cells or to track if the cells are killed with the tiny explosions. The researchers have also been able to show that the technique can be used to clear arteries blocked by plaque by busting the plaque with exploding bubbles.

Lapotko said, "The bubbles work like a jackhammer."

The researchers are currently conducting a study using the technique to study its effect on leukemia cells and on cancers of the head and neck. The nanobubble technology may be used to create a process dubbed theranostics where a single process can detect and treat disease conditions.

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Bust a Move!
By porkpie on 2/8/2010 6:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
"...or large bubbles that bust the cells killing them."

You might want to reconsider your phrasing on that one Shane.

Regarding this development, I've heard a lot of very similar proposals in the past. Once you have a cell targeted, its easy to kill it...the problem always seems to be reliably binding to the cancerous cells themselves.

RE: Bust a Move!
By TheEinstein on 2/9/10, Rating: 0
RE: Bust a Move!
By JackQW on 2/9/2010 2:46:41 PM , Rating: 3
Maybe the idea is to saturate first, use them to examine tissue structure, identify cancer in combination with other techniques, then destroy only the desired region by focusing the laser specifically on the cancerous region, then flush from the body naturally or via chemical methods? I don't know... but it's a leap to go from 'how many cells' to 'how much heavy metals' to 'useless line of science'.

I smell a fallacious line of thinking...

Hitting you with a rewind to 2007:

RE: Bust a Move!
By Regs on 2/11/2010 12:59:03 PM , Rating: 2
I keep hearing more and more of these cancer treatmeant ideas and when they eventually make it to clinical trials 10 years later, they vanish like they never had an idea to begin with.

If people were more willing to die to test these treatments then cancer would of been cured by now.

*puts on evil doctor jacket and mask*

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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