New 'nanobubbles' could deliver cancer drugs more effectively
Researchers from Rice University, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine have utilized light-harvesting nanoparticles to convert laser energy into ‘plasmonic nanobubbles.’ This technique can be used to deliver drugs and genetic payloads directly to cancer cells. Researchers have also used nanoparticles to target cancer cells, but attaching drugs to nanoparticles can also kill healthy cells. Nanobubbles differ from nanoparticles as they are short-lived events -- tiny pockets of air and water vapor that are created when laser light strikes a cluster of nanoparticles and is converted into heat. The researchers conducted tests on drug-resistant cancer cells and found that delivering chemotherapy drugs with the nanobubbles was up to thirty times more deadly to cancer cells than traditional treatment and required a significantly smaller dose.