This image, submitted by Erik Dreaden, demonstrates the stability of engineered nanoparticles in physiologic environments, their efficient penetration into tumors, and their preferential accumulation in response to the acidic tumor microenvironment.
"Side effects associated with many cancer chemotherapies occur when drugs are delivered throughout the body instead of to the tumor. Koch Institute Researchers in the Hammond Lab are engineering polymer nanotechnologies that interact with and respond to tumors, delivering drugs only to diseased cells to improve both treatment outcomes and patient quality of life. This image illustrates the delivery of tumor-responsive nanoparticles (green) engineered to evade detection by the body. These particles, 500 times smaller than the width of a human hair, penetrate deeply into malignant tumors (red/blue) and deliver drugs to the most aggressive cells within that thrive in an oxygen-poor environment.