MIT's new nanoparticle carries three cancer-fighting drug molecules — doxorubicin is red, the small green particles are camptothecin, and the larger green core contains cisplatin (Image: Jeremiah Johnson)
The particles were designed to release doxorubicin when exposed to ultraviolet light – here, ovarian cancer cells turn red as the doxorubicin is released over time (Photo: Erik Dreaden and Kevin Shopsowitz)
Delivering drugs that can knock out tumor cells within the body, without causing adverse side effects, is a tricky busines. It's why scientists have taken to engineering new and creative types of nanoparticles that do the job. Increasing a nanoparticle's ability to carry more drugs expands treatment options, but creating nanoparticles capable of delivering more than one or two drugs has proven difficult – until now. Scientists at MIT report creating a revolutionary building block technique that's enabled them to load a nanoparticle with three drugs. The approach, they say, could be expanded to allow a nanoparticle to carry hundreds more.
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