A global team of researchers have invented a new, non-invasive and secure method to plant cancer drugs deep into your tumor cells. One of the assistant professors at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore and also the lead researcher, Xu Chenjie, said that their invention is the first-of-its-kind which enables drug particles to be delivered into a tumor in a few milliseconds.
The micro-sized gas bubbles, effectively tested on mice, are initially coated with particles of the cancer drug as well as nanoparticles of iron oxide. Through magnets, these bubbles are then shot at to gather around a tumor of a specific type.
Using ultrasound, the micro gas bubbles are made to vibrate, which gives them the energy to direct the particles of the drug into the targeted place.
The particles of drug can reach a depth of 50 cell layers or more, which is nearly 200 micrometers, double the thickness of a human hair.
The first distinct feature of microbubbles is that they are magnetic. After injecting them into your bloodstream, they can easily direct them around the tumor with the help of magnets and make sure that they don’t destroy your healthy cells, mentioned Chenjie in the paper issued by the Nature Publishing Group in Asia Materials.
The method makes sure that the drugs get to the cancer cells on the surface as well as inside the heart of the tumor. Besides, it can prove to be an effective alternative therapy in the days to come, which not only involves low cost but is also helpful in the cancer treatment including solid tumors, as well as reduce the ill effects of drugs, the researchers further said.
As per the research team, the current chemotherapy drugs are mainly non-targeted. The particles of drug flow in the bloodstream, destroying both cancerous and healthy cells.
These drugs are also usually flushed away quickly from organs such as liver and lungs, affecting their functioning.