Science Ahoy!

a legacy of our discomgoogolation

Posts Tagged ‘HIV

Nano Shot

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Can you fool the cell?  Apparently you can.

Stellacci and his colleagues incorporated properties of the cell-penetrating peptides into their synthetic material. They coated gold nanoparticles six nanometers in diameter with alternating stripes of hydrophobic and hydrophilic molecules, mimicking the ordered structure of the peptides researchers have tried to use in the past. They then labeled the gold nanoparticles with fluorescent dye and tested them on mouse immune cells. The group found that the nanoparticles entered the cells and distributed themselves throughout the cytosol, the cell’s internal fluid, without killing the cell. The researchers published their findings in a recent edition of Nature Materials[].

I have not read the original paper in Nature, but I wonder what the longterm impact on the cell is.  Coated or not, the nanoparticle is a foreign body, and I wonder if the cell gets a whiff of the trick soon enough.  Once cradle-to-grave studies are done, we could potentially find cure for diseases such as cancer.

Using nanoparticles for disease monitoring/detection is pretty hot in Europe –

The cost is prohibitive, I am sure.  But may be some day the technology will be perfected enough to be made accessable to all.

Written by Elgie Shepard

September 30, 2008 at 2:45 am