New nanoparticle delivers, tracks cancer drugs
UNSW chemical engineers have synthesised a new iron oxide nanoparticle that delivers cancer drugs to cells while simultaneously monitoring the drug release in real time.
The result, published online in the journal ACS Nano, represents an important development for the emerging field of theranostics – a term that refers to nanoparticles that can treat and diagnose disease.
“Iron oxide nanoparticles that can track drug delivery will provide the possibility to adapt treatments for individual patients,” says Associate Professor Cyrille Boyer from the UNSW School of Chemical Engineering.
By understanding how the cancer drug is released and its effect on the cells and surrounding tissue, doctors can adjust doses to achieve the best result.
Importantly, Boyer and his team demonstrated for the first time the use of a technique called fluorescence lifetime imaging to monitor the drug release inside a line of lung cancer cells.