Nanopackaging biodegrades after delivering cancer drug | Science News


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Nanopackaging biodegrades after delivering cancer drug

DNA binding creates potentially nontoxic tumor-targeting structures

10:14am, January 28, 2014

TINY DELIVERY  Nano-sized packaging, made from different sized nanoparticles (gray dots) linked by strands of DNA, can deliver cancer drugs directly to tumors and then safely biodegrade in the body. Researchers have found an easy way to alter the size and structure of the packages. The scale bar represents 50 nanometers.

Eat your heart out Amazon. Packaging made of DNA-strapped nanoparticles could deliver cancer drugs directly to a tumor’s doorstep, then quickly break down and see itself to the curb.

Researchers have used nanoparticle-based parcels to carry drugs to tumors before. But the new shipping system, which was tested in mice, is the first to specify an exit strategy for the nanoparticles, which are often made of toxic metals that can accumulate in healthy tissues. The results appear January 26 in Nature Nanotechnology.

Biomedical engineer Warren Chan of the University of Toronto and colleagues created gold nanoparticles that can link together like Tinkertoys to build bigger, more complex structures. The particles’ linkers are single strands of DNA chemically fused to each gold nanoparticle. The dangling DNA strings can connect with complementary DNA on other

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