Imagine having Arnie on your side in what could be the biggest fight of your life, well that would be something, wouldn’t it? For anyone who has experienced a death from cancer any news in advancements is fantastic that it could help someone recover in the future. Scientists have developed a new biodegradable liquid metal drug delivery method that can zoom in and target cancer cells.
Read the rest of the post to find out how this may benefit cancer sufferers in the future
“The advance here is that we have a drug-delivery technique that may enhance the effectiveness of the drugs being delivered, can help doctors locate tumours, can be produced in bulk, and appears to be wholly biodegradable with very low toxicity,” said Zhen Gu, a biomedical engineer in a joint program at North Carolina’s State University and University at Chapel Hill. “And one of the advantages of this technique is that these liquid metal drug carriers – or ‘nano-terminators’ – are very easy to make.”
To make the nano-terminators, the researchers deposit liquid metal (a gallium indium alloy) into a solution with molecules called polymeric ligands. Bombarding the solution with ultrasound waves causes the liquid metal to burst into nanoscale droplets measuring about 100 nanometres in diameter. The ligands attach to the surface of the droplets and form a skin that prevents the alloy from fusing back together T–1000-style.
When the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin is introduced to the solution, the ligands on the nanodroplet absorb it, creating drug-laden vessels that can be separated from the solution and introduced into the bloodstream.
But that’s not all. An additional type of ligand that attaches to the nanodroplets can effectively seek out and target cancer cells, by making receptors on the surface of the cells latch onto and ultimately absorb the nanodroplets – which ends up releasing the doxorubicin inside the cancer cell. Hasta la vista.