All-in-One Nano Agent detects target and disable tumor cells

Korean Scientists have fitted nano-sized particles with imaging agents, RNA fragments and a special peptide that enables an all-in-one solution to detect, target and disable tumor cells. In a study published by peer-review journal, Angewandte Chemie, Park Tae-gwan of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and Cheon Jin-woo of Yonsei University claimed that the nano particles also make tumor cells macroscopically visible, which may open new opportunities in the detection of cancer and drug development. The researchers attached magnetic iron oxide particles with a fluorescence dye, siRNAs (small interfering RNAs) and a short peptide called RGD, which “sniffs” out the cancer cells.

The magnetic particles act as a contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the fluorescence dye allows for the microscopic imaging of the targeted tumor cells. The RNA fragments eventually kill the cancer cell identified by the peptide, by suppressing genes that are linked to excessive cell proliferation and causing cancer. If the nano particles, following animal tests, are cleared for clinical tests, we could be opening a new era in the treatment of cancer.