Rice University research scientist Ekaterina Lukianova-Hleb adjusts equipment used in experimentation on plasmonic nanobubbles. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)
From left: Research scientist Ekaterina Lukianova-Hleb, Rice senior Martin Mutonga and Professor Dmitri Lapotko. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)
Identical cells stained red and blue were the target of research at Rice University to show the effect of plasmonic nanobubbles. The bubbles form around heated gold nanoparticles that target particular cells, like cancer cells. When the particles are hollow, bubbles form that are large enough to kill the cell when they burst. When the particles are solid, the bubbles are smaller and can punch a temporary hole in a cell wall, allowing drugs or other material to flow in. Both effects can be achieved simultaneously with a single laser pulse. (Credit: Plasmonic Nanobubble Lab/Rice University)
After the laser pulse, red-stained cells show evidence of massive damage from exploding nanobubbles, while blue-stained cells remained intact, but with green fluorescent dye pulled in from the outside. (Credit: Plasmonic Nanobubble Lab/Rice University)
U.S. scientists are developing a technique that will target and kill cancer cells while simultaneously treating others in the same sample. Centered on fine-tuning the use of cancer destroying nanobubbles, the research holds promise for treating cancer patients in a way that’s far more targeted than chemotherapy.
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