New research from scientists at the City College of New York, USA has used nanotechnology to diagnose and identify different cancer types. The study tricked the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), an over-expressed receptor in tumours, into accepting some Quantum Dots (Qdots) into brain cancer cells in the form of a virus.
By allowing the Qdots into the cancer cells the scientists are able to label the cells molecularly and it is hoped that this could allow for rapid identification of the cancer type meaning that patients could have individualised treatments depending on the cells’ potential resistance to chemotherapy.
Another study by researchers from Polytechnique Montreal, Canada has used nanotechnology to change the genetic material within cancer cells, preventing them from migrating and forming metastases. The method used a ‘light scalpel’ comprised of laser and gold nanoparticles to perform surgery on a nano-metric scale. The authors of the study, led by Professor Meunier, hope that these new advances in nanotechnology could lead to new therapeutic approaches in the field of oncology but also neurology and cardiology.