Molecular Velcro and Nanoparticle Transport 2

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Ester J. Kwon, Henry Ko, Sangeeta N. Bhatia

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Ovarian cancer is a deadly disease, and clinicians are actively seeking new technologies to treat these patients. This image shows a ‘slice’ of human tumors that were grown in a mouse model of ovarian cancer. Our long-term goal is to deliver medicines to these tumors, by designing tiny nanoparticles that can specifically target and bind to these cancers using molecular “velcro”. In order to build the best nanoparticles for the job, we needed to learn what sort of velcro partners would stick to this kind of tumor. In our image, the pink color marks blood vessels, which are the “highways” through which our nanoparticles would travel through, and the red and green staining shows where the candidate molecular vecro components appear in the tumor. Yellow coloring indicates that the red and green components overlap, and blue is used to mark any cells in the image.