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Introducing the multi-tasking nanoparticle for diagnostic and therapeutic applications

Introducing the multi-tasking nanoparticle for diagnostic and therapeutic applications | STEAM | Scoop.it

Kit Lam and colleagues from UC Davis and other institutions have created dynamic nanoparticles (NPs) that could provide an arsenal of applications to diagnose and treat cancer. Built on an easy-to-make polymer, these particles can be used as contrast agents to light up tumors for MRI and PET scans or deliver chemo and other therapies to destroy tumors. In addition, the particles are biocompatible and have shown no toxicity. The study was published online today in Nature Communications.

 

“These are amazingly useful particles,” noted co-first author Yuanpei Li, a research faculty member in the Lam laboratory. “As a contrast agent, they make tumors easier to see on MRI and other scans. We can also use them as vehicles to deliver chemotherapy directly to tumors; apply light to make the nanoparticles release singlet oxygen (photodynamic therapy) or use a laser to heat them (photothermal therapy) – all proven ways to destroy tumors.”


Jessica Tucker, program director of Drug and Gene Delivery and Devices at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, said the approach outlined in the study has the ability to combine both imaging and therapeutic applications in a single platform, which has been difficult to achieve, especially in an organic, and therefore biocompatible, vehicle.

 

"This is especially valuable in cancer treatment, where targeted treatment to tumor cells, and the reduction of lethal effects in normal cells, is so critical,” she added.

 

 Though not the first nanoparticles, these may be the most versatile. Other particles are good at some tasks but not others. Non-organic particles, such as quantum dots or gold-based materials, work well as diagnostic tools but have safety issues. Organic probes are biocompatible and can deliver drugs but lack imaging or phototherapy applications.


Built on a porphyrin/cholic acid polymer, the nanoparticles are simple to make and perform well in the body. Porphyrins are common organic compounds. Cholic acid is produced by the liver.


To further stabilize the particles, the researchers added the amino acid cysteine (creating CNPs), which prevents them from prematurely releasing their therapeutic payload when exposed to blood proteins and other barriers. At 32 nanometers, CNPs are ideally sized to penetrate tumors, accumulating among cancer cells while sparing healthy tissue.


In the study, the team tested the nanoparticles, both in vitro and in vivo, for a wide range of tasks. On the therapeutic side, CNPs effectively transported anti-cancer drugs, such as doxorubicin. Even when kept in blood for many hours, CNPs only released small amounts of the drug; however, when exposed to light or agents such as glutathione, they readily released their payloads. The ability to precisely control chemotherapy release inside tumors could greatly reduce toxicity. CNPs carrying doxorubicin provided excellent cancer control in animals, with minimal side effects.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Building AI Is Hard—So Facebook Is Building AI That Builds AI

Building AI Is Hard—So Facebook Is Building AI That Builds AI | STEAM | Scoop.it
By forcing computers to do more of the grunt work, the world's biggest tech companies are accelerating how quickly AI enters the everyday world.
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The 11 most impressive social good innovations from April

The 11 most impressive social good innovations from April | STEAM | Scoop.it
Here are some of the most impressive inventions and innovations that made a difference in April 2016.
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UC Davis spent thousands to scrub pepper-spray references from Internet

UC Davis spent thousands to scrub pepper-spray references from Internet | STEAM | Scoop.it
UC Davis contracted with consultants for at least $175,000 to scrub the Internet of negative online postings following the November 2011 pepper-spraying of students and to improve the reputations of both the university and Chancellor Linda P.B.
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STEAM Conference at Northeastern Illinois University

STEAM Conference at Northeastern Illinois University | STEAM | Scoop.it
05/14/2016 - 10:00 am - 3:30 pm
Northeastern Illinois University Auditorium
5500 N St. Louis Ave
Chicago
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Teach Your Kids Computer Engineering With These Hardware Hacking Kits

Teach Your Kids Computer Engineering With These Hardware Hacking Kits | STEAM | Scoop.it
Toys and kits that are designed to teach kids hacking and basic programming skills abound, and they cater to a range of ages and skill levels.
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NASA Is Finally Sending a Hotel Magnate’s Inflatable Habitat to the ISS

NASA Is Finally Sending a Hotel Magnate’s Inflatable Habitat to the ISS | STEAM | Scoop.it
On April 8, SpaceX will launch an inhabitable bouncy castle to the International Space Station. It's only taken 20 years.
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In Silicon Valley, Meditation Is No Fad. It Could Make Your Career

In Silicon Valley, Meditation Is No Fad. It Could Make Your Career | STEAM | Scoop.it
Meditation and mindfulness are the new rage in Silicon Valley. And it's not just about inner peace—it's about getting ahead.
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Good Riddance, Chemicals: Microbes Are Farming’s Hot New Pesticides

Good Riddance, Chemicals: Microbes Are Farming’s Hot New Pesticides | STEAM | Scoop.it
With today’s food politics, the chemical fertilizers and pesticides that fantastically increased yields in the 20th century are looking not so hot anymore.
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Engineers have found a way to harvest wind energy from trees

Engineers have found a way to harvest wind energy from trees | STEAM | Scoop.it
Imagine if a world full of forests generated all the energy we need - a new technology could make it a reality.
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Boston Dynamics’ New Robot Is Wicked Good at Standing Up to Bullies

Boston Dynamics’ New Robot Is Wicked Good at Standing Up to Bullies | STEAM | Scoop.it

The new version of Atlas is an untethered marvel of engineering. Also, slightly terrifying.

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Electrical Engineer Creates 3D Calligraphy That Leaps Off The Page

Electrical Engineer Creates 3D Calligraphy That Leaps Off The Page | STEAM | Scoop.it

Previously featured Tolga Girgin, a Turkish electrical engineer and graphic designer, continues to create stunning 3D calligraphy pieces.

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MIT students win Hyperloop design competition

MIT students win Hyperloop design competition | STEAM | Scoop.it

More than 1,000 student engineers competed to design pods for Elon Musk's super-high-speed transit system

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2 Virginia Tech students charged in death of teen girl

2 Virginia Tech students charged in death of teen girl | STEAM | Scoop.it

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Two Virginia Tech engineering students have been arrested in connection with the death of a 13-year-old girl whose disappearance last ...

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What is it with Tech?

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Education.com | #1 Educational Site for Pre-K through 5

Education.com | #1 Educational Site for Pre-K through 5 | STEAM | Scoop.it
Award winning educational materials like worksheets, games, lesson plans and activities designed to help kids succeed. Start for free now!
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How Reporters Pulled Off the Panama Papers, the Biggest Leak in Whistleblower History

How Reporters Pulled Off the Panama Papers, the Biggest Leak in Whistleblower History | STEAM | Scoop.it
The 2.6 terabyte Panama Papers may be the first leak of their scale, but they won't be the last.
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12 Inspiring Women In Data Science, Big Data - InformationWeek

12 Inspiring Women In Data Science, Big Data   - InformationWeek | STEAM | Scoop.it
Women make up half the population, yet it's been well documented that they don't come close to parity in STEM fields. Could the rise of big data and data science offer women a clearer path to success in technology?
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7 Difficult Lessons Millennials Must Learn the Hard Way

7 Difficult Lessons Millennials Must Learn the Hard Way | STEAM | Scoop.it
Nobody wants to learn these things, but they are essential to personal growth.
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5 Tech Trends that Could Supercharge Education in 2016

5 Tech Trends that Could Supercharge Education in 2016 | STEAM | Scoop.it
The technologies of tomorrow are already making headway into education, and others are poised for mass distribution in 2016.
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A programming language for living cells

A programming language for living cells | STEAM | Scoop.it
MIT biological engineers have created a programming language that allows them to rapidly design complex, DNA-encoded circuits that give new functions to living cells.
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Tiny 3-D Printed Building Shares Its Energy With an (Also 3-D Printed) SUV

Tiny 3-D Printed Building Shares Its Energy With an (Also 3-D Printed) SUV | STEAM | Scoop.it
From architecture firm SOM and the U.S. Department of Energy, here's a glimpse at how architects think we might live off-the-grid, and in the future.
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13 Women Who Changed Science | EE Times

13 Women Who Changed Science | EE Times | STEAM | Scoop.it
During Women's History Month in March, we celebrate the myriad accomplishments of women past and present. Here are 13 woman who achieved amazing innovations and accomplishments in engineering.
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Engineering in a Box programme opens for primary students

Engineering in a Box programme opens for primary students | STEAM | Scoop.it

Primary students will now be able to get their hands on Engineering in a Box, a new programme to get kids into the subject.

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Decision Intelligence

Decision Intelligence | STEAM | Scoop.it

Decision intelligence is an interdisciplinary field with a mission to solve the world's most complex problems.  It is based on the premise that "the decision" is most important when dealing with complexity.

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Google to deliver wrong 'top' search results to would-be jihadis

Google to deliver wrong 'top' search results to would-be jihadis | STEAM | Scoop.it

Internet giant's search engine will bring up 'AdWord' messages that seek to
combat extremism when potential jihadis look for terrorist material online

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Artificial pancreas system aimed at type 1 diabetes mellitus

Artificial pancreas system aimed at type 1 diabetes mellitus | STEAM | Scoop.it

Largest-ever long-term clinical trials will begin this year | The University of Virginia School of Medicine and the Harvard John A.

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