So it seems surgery is not always a foolproof way of removing all cancerous cells. Sometimes residual cancerous cells stay behind, and surgery needs to be followed up by radiation therapy or chemotherapy. But what if it doesn’t? What if oncologists can send in an army to infiltrate the cancerous cells and destroy them from the inside like in a Trojan Horse attack?

Dmitri Lapotko and colleagues conducted interesting experiments on mice that had been implanted with human squamous cell carcinoma…here are the details;

One physiological aspect of solid cancer tumors is how their blood vessels tend to be leaky. This could be exploited so that an injection of gold nanoparticles into the bloodstream end up with those particles seeping out and gathering around the tumor, only to be engulfed by the actual cells in an attempt to clean up their surroundings. With the nanoparticles inside, life is all dandy for the cancerous tumor until…

An ultrashort infrared pulse is fired.

This IR pulse caused temperatures to rise where the gold nanoparticles clustered, vaporizing adjacent water molecules, creating tiny bubbles that quickly expand and burst, blowing up the cancer cell from within.

*Evil laugh*

The key according to Lapotko, is that “nanoparticle clusters produce nanobubbles in cancer cells and not normal tissue.”

It would be interesting to see where this research goes in the future.

News source; http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/02/exploding-nanobubbles-can-kill-cancer-cells

Image via; http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/english/news/sciencetech/5392-advances-cancer-treatment-korean-research-team-develops-new-nanomaterial

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