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Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles Catalyze Brain Tumor Death

Submitted by on 28 November, 2018 – 4:32 am
U.S. scientists Department of Energy (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago Medical Center’s Brain Tumor Center have developed a way to target cancer cells of the brain using inorganic titanium dioxide nanoparticles bonded to antibodies. Thousands of people die from malignant brain tumors each year, and the tumors are resistant to conventional therapies. These composite nanoparticles can provide an alternative form of treatment that targets only cancerous cells and tissues does not affect normal life.

“It’s a real example of how nano and biological interconnection can be used for biomedical applications,” said Elena Rozhkova Argonne, Ph.D., who led the study. “We chose brain cancer because of its difficulty in treatment and their receptors unique.” The results of this study were published in the journal Nano Letters.

This new therapy is based on a two-pronged approach. Titanium dioxide is a versatile photoreactive nanomaterial can be linked to biomolecules. When connected to an antibody, the nanoparticles recognize and bind specifically to cancer cells. Visible light is focused shone in the affected region, and localized titanium dioxide reacts to light by creating free oxygen radicals that interact with the mitochondria in cancer cells. Mitochondria act as cellular power plants, and when free radicals interfere with their biochemical pathways, mitochondria receive a signal to initiate cell death.

“The importance of this work lies in our ability to respond effectively to the nanoparticles to specific cell surface receptors expressed in brain cancer cells,” said Maciej S. Lesniak, MD, University of Chicago Medical Center’s Brain Tumor Center. “In doing so, we have overcome a major limitation involving the application of nanoparticles in medicine, ie the potential of these agents to distribute throughout the body. We are now able to develop this exciting technology in preclinical models of brain tumors, with the hope of one day using this new technology in patients. ”

X-ray Fluorescence microscopy performed in the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne invadopodia also showed that tumors, actin-rich protrusions micron scale that allow the cancer to invade surrounding healthy cells can also be attacked by titanium dioxide nanoparticles . So far, tests have been done only in cells in a lab, but animal testing is planned for the next phase. After a 5-minute exposure to the focused light, there was an almost 100% the rate of cancer cell toxicity 6 hours after exposure and toxicity 80% 48 hours after exposure. Furthermore, from the antibody attacks only cancer cells, unlike other cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy, surrounding healthy cells unaffected.

This work, which is detailed in the paper “A high-performance nanobiophotocatalyst for targeted brain cancer therapy,” was supported by the National Cancer Institute. An abstract is available at the journal’s Web site.

Provided by National Cancer Institute (web)

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