Targeted cancer treatment to become a reality

Drug delivery that precisely targets cancerous cells without harming the healthy surrounding tissue in the body is set to become a reality.

Professor Sylvain Martel, director of the Nanorobotics Laboratory at Polytechnique Montreal, has made a breakthrough in the field of nanomedicine.

The professor has successfully guided microcarriers loaded with a dose of anti-cancer drug through the bloodstream of a living rabbit to the targeted area in its liver, where the drug was successfully administered.

The therapeutic magnetic microcarriers were developed by Pierre Pouponneau, under the joint director of Professor Martel and Jean-Christophe Leroux.

They work by encapsulating a dose of the therapeutic agent and magnetic nanoparticles, which can then be used by the upgraded MRI system to guide the microcarrers through the blood vessels to the targeted organ.

The journal Biomaterials recently published the results of the experiment, the patent for which has just been issued in the US.


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