Preclinical Results Report Radio Waves Fire Up Nanotubes Embedded In Tumors, Destroying Liver Cancer

Cancer cells treated with carbon nanotubes can be destroyed by non-invasive radio waves that heat up the nanotubes while sparing untreated tissue, a research team led by scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and Rice University has shown in preclinical experiments.

In a paper posted online ahead of December publication in the journal Cancer, researchers show that the technique completely destroyed liver cancer tumors in rabbits. There were no side effects noted. However, some healthy liver tissue within 2-5 millimeters of the tumors sustained heat damage due to nanotube leakage from the tumor.
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Cells Selectively Absorb Short Nanotubes

DNA-wrapped single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) shorter than about 200 nanometers readily enter into human lung cells and so may pose an increased risk to health, according to scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

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Nanotube length threshold: NIST experiments using human lung cells demonstrate that DNA-wrapped single-walled carbon nanotubes longer than about 200 nanometers are excluded from cells, while shorter lengths are able to penetrate the cell interior (dark lines in the fluorescence image above).Credit: NIST
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Carbon Nanotubes versus HIV

Researchers at Stanford University have added one more trick to carbon nanotubes’ repertoire of accomplishments: a way to fight the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Chemistry professor Hongjie Dai and his colleagues have used carbon nanotubes to transport RNA into human white blood cells that defend the body from disease, making the cells less susceptible to HIV attack.

In a paper now online in the journal Angewandte Chemie, Dai and his colleagues describe attaching RNA to carbon nanotubes, which enter T cells and deliver the RNA. When the researchers placed T cells in a solution of the carbon nanotube-RNA complex, receptor proteins on the cell surfaces went down by 80 percent. Carbon nanotubes are known to enter many different types of human cells, although researchers don’t understand exactly how they do it. Some experts suspect that because of their long, thin shape, nanotubes enter cells much as a needle passes through skin.

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Researchers Grow Bone Cells On Carbon Nanotubes

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have published findings that show, for the first time, that bone cells can grow and proliferate on a scaffold of carbon nanotubes. Scientists found that the nanotubes, 100,000 times finer than a human hair, are an excellent scaffold for bone cells to grow on.

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DNA-wrapped carbon nanotubes serve as sensors in living cells

Single walled carbon nanotubes wrapped with DNA can be placed inside living cells and detect trace amounts of harmful contaminants using near infrared light, report researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Their discovery opens the door to new types of optical sensors and biomarkers that exploit the unique properties of nanoparticles in living systems.

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Converting Carbon Nanotubes into RNA-Degrading Nano-Enzymes

The researchers and scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign have achieved a major breakthrough in utilizing nanotechnology. The team of researchers has been successful in combining a DNA-based enzyme with a carbon nanotube; they have successfully combined the DNA based enzyme and have converting Carbon Nanotubes into RNA-Degrading Nano-Enzymes. Thus they have created a nanoscale device capable of degrading specific sequences of RNA.

Such a device is capable of providing a novel approach to treat cancer. This device would be quite a beneficial instrument in cancer therapy as it would be enabling researchers to block a cancer cell’s production of proteins needed to maintain a cancerous state.

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