Nanoparticles combined with antibodies to combat cancer

by | Dec 3, 2012

Silicon nanoparticles functionalised with antibodies have been shown to efficiently kill cancer cells in vitro.

In cancer therapy, nanomaterials hold great promises to overcome some of the concerns around conventional chemotherapy agents: their lack of tumor specificity, for example, or their poor pharmacokinetic profiles, which lead to several serious side effects. Porous silicon nanoparticles are very attractive in nanomedicine because they are biodegradable in vivo, have a high drug loading capacity, and are non toxic.

Now, in new work, the anticancer drug, camptothecin, has been encapsulated in nanoparticles of porous silicon, and specifically vectorized to cancer cells, thanks to the presence of antibody-targeting species attached to the surface of the nanoparticles. The camptothecin-containing nanoparticles are able to internalize the cells in less than 30 minutes in vitro, delivering their drug payload and efficiently killing the cancerous cells.

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