Scientists found out how nanoparticles kill cancer cells

June 25, 2020

Scientists from the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University (IKBFU) and National University of Science and Technology "MISiS" have studied how magnet nanoparticles affect cancer cells in the human liver. In the authors' opinion, this research will help to treat oncology. The research results were published in the "Nano Convergence" Scientific Journal.

Because of their unique properties, magnetic nanoparticles can be used for therapeutic diagnostics and personalized treatment of cancer diseases, as well as be an effective contrast agent for MRI examination and imaging of tumors.

It is known that human cancer cells can absorb magnetic nanoparticles. This property can be used in cancer therapy in at least three ways: local heating of a tumor when exposed to a variable magnetic field (magnetic hyperthermia), targeted drug delivery, or selective cytotoxic effects of nanoparticles on cancer cells.

Scientists from the IKBFU Laboratory of Novel Magnet Materials studied the peculiarities of nanoparticles' influence on cell organelles and got acquainted with the peculiarities of intracellular processes in detail by using different lines of liver cancer cells. Small objects such as nanoparticles can be easily "eaten" by cells, but this does not always happen - in some cases, nanoparticles can damage the structure of a cell, penetrate it and kill it. By adding iron oxide nanoparticles of various shapes to the nutrient medium of cells, scientists were able to check the degree and nature of the changes in cell culture.

According to the authors of the study, the behavior of cancer cells depends on the concentration of nanoparticles in the solution and, most importantly, the type of cancer. The fact is that different cells respond differently to the same particles. This makes it possible to create an instrument based on nanoparticles, selectively suppressing cancer cells while keeping healthy cells intact.

Scientists have carried out experiments on how cancer cells in the human liver react to various types of magnet nanoparticles. They found that iron oxide nanocubes and nanoclusters are capable of activating certain genes that give a "self-destruct command" to liver cancer cells. This discovery sheds light on the mechanisms that regulate cell death caused by the cytotoxicity of nanoparticles.

Maxim Abakumov, co-author of the research, head of NUST "MISiS" Biomedical materials Laboratory said:

"The mechanism of toxic effect is associated with the progressive permeability of lysosomal membranes in hepatocytes, which provokes the processes of apoptosis and autophagy, basically, "cell death".

According to Valeria Rodionova, the Head of the IKBFU Novel Magnet Materials Laboratory, the results of the research may be used for cancer diagnosis and therapy.

Valeria Rodionova told to RIA Novosti:

"This interdisciplinary project brought together scientists from different fields: physics, chemists, and biologists. Our joint work allowed us not only to synthesize unique types of nanoparticles but also to analyze the mechanisms of specific cellular signaling pathways that they activate in the cell".

Cooperation in the scientific world often proves to be decisive in research. Thus, microscopic studies were carried out in the laboratory of biophysics, under the supervision of Dr. Oleg Lunov, head of the laboratory (Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences). Scientists of the Mendeleev Russian University of Chemistry and Technology also took part in the study.
-end-


Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.