One of the most precious metals has traditionally been valuable during rough economic times to protect wealth.
University of Southampton researchers in Southern England have experienced significant success using the precious metal in nanoparticle form against cancer. Small dosages of gold nanoparticles keep malignant tumors from sustaining themselves on blood and oxygen. The feeding process is known as angiogenesis.
"The peptide-functionalized gold nanoparticles that we synthesized are very effective in the deliberate activation or inhibition of angiogenic genes," stated physics lecturer Dr. Antonio Kanaras, research team leader. "We have found that gold nanoparticles can have a dual role in cellular manipulation. Applying laser irradiation, we can use the nanoparticles either to destroy endothelial cells, as a measure to cut the blood supply to tumors, or to deliberately open up the cellular membrane in order to deliver a drug efficiently."
Kanaras leads a team that thus far has seen two papers published regarding its work with angiogenesis. The team has submitted a third essay for publication. Through the remainder of 2011, researchers intend to submit four additional essays.
Employing nanotechnology for angiogenic manipulation is one significant researchers' goal.
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