Diseased cells such as metastatic cancer cells have markedly different mechanical properties that can be used to improve targeted drug uptake, according to a team of researchers at Penn State.
Many labs around the world are developing nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems to selectively target tumors. They rely on a key-and-lock system in which protein keys on the surface of the nanoparticle click into the locks of a highly expressed protein on the surface of the cancer cell. The cell membrane then wraps around the nanoparticle and ingests it. If enough of the nanoparticles and their drug cargo is ingested, the cancer cell will die.
The adhesive force of the lock and key is what drives the nanoparticle into the cell, says Sulin Zhang, professor of engineering science and mechanics. “It is almost universal that whenever there is a driving force for a process, there always is a resistive force. Here, the driving force is biochemical – the protein-protein interaction.”
The resistive force is mechanical, the energy cost of the membrane wrapping around the nanoparticle. Until now, bioengineers only considered the driving force and designed nanoparticles to optimize the chemical interactions, a targeting strategy called “chemotargeting.” Zhang believes they should also take into account the mechanics of the cells to design nanoparticles to achieve enhanced targeting, which forms a new targeting strategy called “mechanotargeting.”
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Google says it has made a significant step in identifying disease-causing genes, which could help spot rare genetic disorders. A new model named AlphaMissense is able to confidently classify 89 per cent of all [...]
MINDWATCH study reveals cognitive peaks with everyday pleasures. Listening to music and drinking coffee are the sorts of everyday pleasures that can impact a person’s brain activity in ways that improve cognitive performance, including [...]
Moderna has developed a new and improved version of its COVID-19 vaccine. The unique formulation (mRNA-1283) reduces the vaccine's content from the full-length SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to a narrowly focused encoding of just two [...]
Breast cancer in its various forms affects more than 250,000 Americans a year. One particularly aggressive and hard-to-treat type is triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), which lacks specific receptors targeted by existing treatments. The rapid [...]
Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have created a process that can upcycle most plastics into chemical ingredients useful for energy storage, using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and a commercially available catalyst, all [...]
The mere scent of seafood can severely sicken those allergic to it — and therefore they are more likely to avoid it. Similarly, individuals who experience food poisoning from a specific dish tend to [...]
Researchers in Germany and Japan have been able to increase the diffusion of magnetic whirls, so-called skyrmions, by a factor of ten. In today’s world, our lives are unimaginable without computers. Up until now, [...]
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