Researchers have discovered a new and potentially effective way to transport drugs to the cancerous tissue using magnetic bacteria Magnetococcus marinus.
Drugs used to treat cancer, cause toxic effects upon exposure to healthy cells of the body. To powerful drugs just got to pathological tissues, researchers have developed nanoparticles that make up the drug.
Although nanoparticles were effective amount of the drug that reaches the tumor was relatively low. The main reason was that the nanoparticles in the body are filtered through circulation until reaching the cancer cells and can not enter into the hypoxic zone of the most active areas of the tumor.
When you try to develop a robotic nanocarriers team led by Sylvain Martin, director of the Laboratory of nanorobots in Montreal, I discovered that the bacteria M. Marinus live in areas of ocean devoid of oxygen. They have their own "navigation system" in order to reach such areas in the ocean. The system includes magnetic nanocrystals present in cells and similar to a magnetic compass, and special sensors that assist in finding areas with low oxygen content.
In a study published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, researchers reported on experiments with rodents. Mice with cancer were divided into three groups. Each group were injected with three different components: a living bacterium M. Marinus, dead bacteria and nonmagnetic bacteria.
The injection was made close to the tumor's location and controlled by a magnetic field using a computer program to help bacteria to reach tumors. It was noted that at inspection of live bacterial cells broke further into the hypoxic zone, while the dead penetration and nonmagnetic bacteria was minimal.
"When they get into the tumor, we turn off the magnetic field, and bacteria automatically react to oxygen sensors to look for hypoxic region", - says Martel.
Martel said that the bacteria will help to cure cancer by acting as a "transportation" of drugs to cancerous tissues. He also added that they are cheap and safe to manufacture, since the die within 30 minutes after injection.
Based on materials techtimes.com