Fighting cancer with lasers and nanoballoons that pop

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Chemotherapeutic drugs excel at fighting cancer, but they’re not so efficient at getting where they need to go. They often interact with blood, bone marrow and other healthy bodily systems. This dilutes the drugs and causes unwanted side effects. Now, researchers are developing a better delivery method by encapsulating the drugs in nanoballoons – which are tiny modified liposomes that, upon being struck by a red laser, pop open and deliver concentrated doses of medicine.

Described April 3 in the journal Nature Communications, the innovation could improve cancer treatment, reduce its side effects and boost research about the disease, which annually kills millions of people worldwide.

“Why PoP-liposomes, or nanoballoons, open in response to an otherwise harmless red laser is still a bit of a mystery to us, but we have definitely unearthed a new and unique phenomenon,” said corresponding author Jonathan Lovell, PhD, UB assistant professor of biomedical engineering. “Its potential for improving how we treat cancer is immense.” More here Fighting cancer with lasers and nanoballoons that pop.

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