A need exists to target cancer treatments specifically to the tumor site, without damaging healthy tissue. This need can be achieved through the proper application of nanotechnology, namely gold nanoparticles conjugated to Folate. Folate is an essential nutrient required for DNA replication, and is internalized by cells through the Folate-Receptor. Since malignant cancers undergo rapid DNA replication, their need for Folate is increased beyond normal cells and therefore over express the Folate-Receptor. This cell surface receptor is an excellent target for delivery of a nanoparticle based therapy. Our method is to deliver gold nanoparticles to cancer cells via the Folate-Receptor after which intense pulsed light (IPL) is used to cause photothermal destruction of the cancer cell. We have shown that the gold nanoparticles themselves are non-toxic in two cancer cell lines, HeLa (Folate-Receptor over expressing) and MCF7 (Folate-Receptor non-over expressing), as well as that these cells can withstand up to 20 pulses of IPL without significant cell death. However, combination of the nanoparticles and IPL caused significant cell death in HeLa cells, while causing significantly less cell death in MCF7 cells. Folate conjugated gold nanoparticles can selectively target and destroy cancer cells.
Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Nanotechnology 2011: Bio Sensors, Instruments, Medical, Environment and Energy
Published: June 13, 2011
Pages: 404 - 407
Industry sector: Medical & Biotech
Topics: Biomaterials, Cancer Nanotechnology