Tiny Trojan Horses: Tumor-Penetrating Nanoparticles Infiltrate Cancer Cells

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Liangliang Hao, Srivatsan Raghavan, Emilia Pulver, Jeffrey Wyckoff, Sangeeta Bhatia

This image shows fluorescent nanoparticles penetrating into three-dimensional spherical clusters of tumor cells.

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Liangliang Hao, Srivatsan Raghavan, Emilia Pulver, Jeffrey Wyckoff, Sangeeta Bhatia
Koch Institute at MIT

You can lead a nanoparticle to tumor cells, but you can’t make them shrink—at least not until the particle gets inside.

This image shows biocompatible nanoparticles (yellow) inside clusters of pancreatic cancer cells (pink). The particles’ two-peptide uptake system—one to target the tumor, the second to penetrate it—was specially designed to overcome known difficulties in treating pancreatic cancer, but the Bhatia Lab hopes to expand the use of this modular delivery system for other cancer types as well.

This project is funded in part by the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine at MIT's Koch Institute.

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