Optimizing the Topology of Nanoparticles to Fight Cancer
One area of investigation in nanomedicine (nanotech + medicine) is looking at how synthetic, silicon-based particles might be built to bind to these cells, using the overexpressed surface proteins as a means to stick in place. These sticky nanoparticles would be loaded with chemotherapy drugs.
But what shape should the nanoparticles be? What size? And what surface chemicals, added to the silicon particles like a sugary frosting, will make them stick best to their targets? Scientists at my hospital call this the “3 S problem.”
A couple of papers our scientists published recently suggest the best shape is a disc. At least when it comes to vascularizing cancers.
A sphere-shaped nanoparticle presents too much area to a fast-moving bloodstream, and that makes them more likely to get pushed off their cancer targets. Rod-shaped nanoparticles aren’t sticky enough. But disc-shaped nanoparticles (the medium-hot nanoporridge) work well. Disc-shaped nanoparticles present maximum surface area to the sides of target cells, making the nanoparticles stick better, while also maintaining a minimal profile to the never-ending rush of blood.
(via paraphyletic, ht Nanosize)