Scientists at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University have created a new biological marker for cancer patients that lights up tumor cells and treats disease with drugs at the same time.
The breakthrough biomarker is a nanophosphor particle ten thousand times smaller than a grain of sand, which lights up when it detects tumor cells to allow scientists to take a better look.
“This is the first time we are able to do bio-imaging, and potentially target the delivery of drugs at the same time, as proven in small animal tests,” Professor Joachim Loo, a nanotechnology and bio-imaging expert, said in a NTU statement. “Our breakthrough will open up new doors in the various fields of nanomedicine, bio-imaging and cancer therapeutics.”
Professor Loo said particles that are used for bio-imaging currently on the market are only good for imaging and not able to release drugs or sense the environment that is around the tumor. He said the nanoparticle is coated with a layer of anti-cancer drugs that can be released, if necessary.