Fat gives nanoparticles a fighting chance

Inhalable and thermo-responsive, fat-encased nanoparticles have been developed by researchers at the University of Sydney as possible treatment for lung cancer. The team has recently designed inhalable, targetable particles that can attack tumors but leave healthy cells undamaged, reducing the side effects of cancer treatment. The particles consist of a drug encased in a lipid ‘fat’ that can be activated using a magnetic field. “When exposed to a magnetic field, the encased super paramagnetic nanoparticles vibrate, melting the fat and releasing the drug,” said research leader Dr. Wojciech Chrzanowski and lecturer in pharmaceutics at the Faculty of Pharmacy. “We are able to trigger the drug release because our formulation is thermo-sensitive. External stimulus, in our case the electromagnetic field, induces the increase in local temperature within the particles which activates the drug release,” he says.

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