Biconcave Nanodisks Wreak Havoc On Tumors

An international team of scientists has developed drug-loaded biconcave carbon nanodisks that accumulate preferentially in tumors.

AsianScientist (Apr. 3, 2019) – Scientists in China and the US have developed a type of biconcave carbon nanodisk that accumulates in tumors, with implications for diagnostics and drug delivery. They published their findings in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials.

For drugs to kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed, they must be delivered to the tumor in a precise manner. Scientists have looked at nanotechnology as a means for targeted drug delivery, but challenges remain in getting nanocarriers to accumulate only in tumors.

Previous studies have shown that the shapes of nanocarriers not only influence their cellular internalization, but also their biodistribution, blood circulation time and tumor accumulation.

In the present study, researchers led by Professor Wang Hui from the High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Professor Zhang Miqin at the University of Washington, US, fabricated biconcave carbon nanodisks, shaped like red blood cells. The team first synthesized nanoparticles with a magnetic iron oxide core and a carbon shell. They then removed the magnetic core by immersing the nanoparticles in acid solution at 200°C.

The researchers showed that carbon nanodisks exhibited higher uptake rate by tumor cells and greater accumulation in tumors compared with carbon nanospheres. The nanodisks also demonstrated fluorescent imaging capability, high loading capacity for the anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) and pH-responsive drug release.

The nanodisk also absorbed and transformed near-infrared (NIR) light to heat, which allowed tumor-specific drug release and heat generation. The team reported that their DOX-loaded nanodisks almost completely suppressed tumor growth in a mouse model of triple-negative breast cancer.

The article can be found at: Mu et al. (2019) Biconcave Carbon Nanodisks for Enhanced Drug Accumulation and Chemo‐Photothermal Tumor Therapy.


Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences. Photo: Chinese Academy of Sciences.
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