Another significant discovery that can help doctors cure cancer
Every year around 14 million people find out that they have cancer. Around 8 million people die. The number of people who survived cancer could be higher, approximately around one-third. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford treatment and sometimes services are not available, especially in low and middle-income countries. There is always need for another way how to treat cancer.
Chemical engineers at the University of Guadalajara (UdeG) , in Mexico, created new technology. This technology is based on thermosensitive nanoparticles called nano-hydrogels. Hydrogels control humidity and are commonly used materials. We can find them in everyday objects such as contact lenses or diapers, in order to control humidity.
Eduardo Mendizábal Mijares, professor at the Department of Chemistry, in the University of Guadalajara, said: “We used nano-hydrogels loaded with drugs and injected them into the patient. With the characteristic that while passing through the bloodstream the drug is not detected nor attacked by the immune system, this due to their physical and chemical properties which make them compatible with the body.”
Why is this such a remarkable achievement? It is because when the drug is within the nano-hydrogels and it is transported directly to cancer cells, it can be released without damaging other parts of the body. Hydrogels offer the possibility of dosing a countless number of active substances where it is needed. Hydrogels can be also delivered to places where they are needed as dry or swollen hydrogels by many different routes: oral, buccal, rectal, nasal, vaginal, ocular, parental and transdermal. The way the drug can release also has different ways – it can increase amount of the proteins, or can use changes in pH, or temperature.
The researchers, who worked on this are also planing to add magnetic particles to the hydrogels nanopolymer. This will cause a force field to raise the temperature. The temperature is necessary to destroy cancer cells.
This technology has shown very good results. Because of their physical properties, the nano-hydrogels have very good biocompatibility with the human organism. This makes them resemble living tissues. Its high water content, soft and elastic consistency, and its low interfacial tension, prevents them from absorbing proteins from body fluids.
This kind of material is used in the biomedical area. They are diagnostic tools in membranes, coatings, microcapsules, implants for applications of short or long-range and systems of controlled drug release. If this is not enough, the nano-hydrogels are used to regenerate tissue to repair fractures, behaving s a substrate for cell growth.
The novelty of the work, that this successful study bring is that these materials can attack the cancer cells or tissues without damaging healthy parts of the body.
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