Scientists show off nanometer-sized tumor hunter-killers

Scientists have developed nanometer-sized "cargo-ships" that seek out tumors like little viking warships and then dump anti-cancer drugs all over them. The joint team of researchers from UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and MIT say that the hunter-killers can pass through the body undetected for a while inside their protective shells, without incurring the wrath of its natural defenses.

“The idea involves encapsulating imaging agents and drugs into a protective ‘mother ship’ that evades the natural processes that normally would remove these payloads if they were unprotected,” Professor Michael Sailor told UCSD News. Professor Sailor teaches biochemistry there.

The nano-sized technology could be used to deliver large doses of medicine to specific regions inside the body, helping do away with far-more-harmful processes such as chemotherapy and radiation.

UCSD News, via io9