ElectricSteve writes "Researchers have been searching for a highly targeted medical treatment that attacks cancer cells but leaves healthy tissue alone. The approach taken by scientists at Washington University in St. Louis is to use 'gold nanocages' that, when injected, selectively accumulate in tumors. When the tumors are later bathed in laser light, the surrounding tissue is barely warmed, but the nanocages convert light to heat, killing the malignant cells. ... Although the tumors took up enough gold nanocages to give them a black cast, only 6 percent of the injected particles accumulated at the tumor site. They would like that number to be closer to 40 percent so that fewer particles would have to be injected. They plan to attach tailor-made ligands to the nanocages that recognize and lock onto receptors on the surface of the tumor cells. ... The scientists at WUSTL have just received a five-year, $2.1M grant from the National Cancer Institute to continue their work with photothermal therapy." Note that Gizmag features a stupid Subscribe nag that covers your screen after about a minute; sounds like a job for NoScript. Last year we discussed somewhat similar research using titanium dioxide nanoparticles to target a particular kind of brain cancer.
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