News on Wellness

Fighting Against Cancer Gets Easier With Nano Balloons and Lasers

Nanoballoons and Lasers

Chemotherapy drugs have always been important in slowing the growth of cancer cells in the body. But the problem is that they can also harm healthy cells in the process, causing side effects like fatigue, hair loss and nausea. In order to avoid these problems, nanoballoons and lasers are used.

Nanoballoons and Lasers

The researchers from the University at Buffalo have developed these tiny particles that can deliver anti-cancer medications directly to the tumor without causing unwanted damage to any other parts. A team of researchers has developed their own nanoballoons called PoP-liposomes which are almost 1,000 times smaller than a human hair. The balloons consist of chlorophyll, a pigment found in green plants and phospholipids, a fat like vegetable oil.  Because of this distinctive composition, the nanoballoons are capable of completely encapsulating anti-cancer drugs, protecting them from other healthy bodily systems. When the drugs are trapped within these containers, the tiny balloons are injected into the bloodstream and they diffuse all through the body.  Then the PoP-liposomes are hit with a red laser at the site of the targeted tumor, triggering the balloons to pop open and discharge the chemotherapy drugs. Once the red laser is turned off, the nanoballoons close up, trapping many of the proteins and molecules in their surroundings. The researchers hope to get back the nanoballoons by drawing blood or by biopsy to analyze their contents.

Jonathan Lovell, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Buffalo said that they are not entirely sure how the lasers generate this popping response, but suppose it is because of the balloons’ chlorophyll component. He also feels that the technology is a boon to people who are suffering from conditions where a tumor cannot be removed, but is causing severe quality of life issues, such as bowel blockages and pancreas malfunction. This is also good to treat a big tumor before it spreads. Most importantly the nanoballoons will decrease drug toxicity in cancer patients exponentially and give physicians greater control over the administration of cancer treatment.

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