A nanoparticle "dance pair." The pair were dyed red and green to reveal molecular binding under a fluorescence microscope." Credit: Yan Yu, Indiana University

Topics: Biology, Biomedicine, Cancer, Nanotechnology

Indiana University researchers have discovered that drug-delivering nanoparticles attach to their targets differently based upon their position when they meet—like ballroom dancers who change their moves with the music.

The study, published Nov. 13 in the journal ACS Nano, is significant since the "movement" of therapeutic particles when they bind to receptor sites on human cells could indicate the effectiveness of drug treatments. The effectiveness of immunotherapy, which uses the body's own immune system to fight diseases such as cancer, depends in part upon the ability to "tune" the strength of cellular bonds, for example.

"In many cases, a drug's effectiveness isn't based upon whether or not it binds to a targeted receptor on a cell, but how strongly it binds," said Yan Yu, an assistant professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Chemistry, who led the study. "The better we can observe these processes, the better we can screen for the therapeutic effectiveness of a drug."

'Waltzing' nanoparticles could advance search for better drug delivery methods

Indiana University, Phys.org

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