HomeTechnologyResearchers test gold nanoparticles with potential in cancer treatment

Researchers test gold nanoparticles with potential in cancer treatment

Researchers from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto (FCUP) are producing, optimizing and testing gold nanoparticles with potential in the treatment of cancer, when used to reinforce phototherapy and radiotherapy, it was announced this Thursday.

In a statement, the FCUP clarifies that researchers from the Institute of Physics of Advanced Materials, Nanotechnology and Photonics (IFIMUP), based at the campus, will use gold nanoparticles to enhance phototherapy and radiotherapy.

The objective of the IFIMUP team is to develop less invasive treatments, with fewer side effects and that do not affect healthy cells.

Quoted in the statement, researcher João Horta Belo clarifies that nanoparticles are “biocompatible and photothermal agents”, that is, they are capable of generating heat due to the absorption of electromagnetic radiation and “cause the death of cancer cells by hyperthermia”.

“Furthermore, they are radiosensitive and, in our body, they function as nanoantennas, multiplying the X-ray radiation signal”, he points out.

For now, the researchers’ objective is to explore the potential of these nanoparticles in phototherapy, having already begun a study with continuous laser.

“Nanoparticles can have different shapes (spherical, wire or star) that absorb light at different wavelengths. We can control the morphology of these nanoparticles to absorb more light near the infrared region, so more energy passes from the skin to the nanoparticles. The greater the energy absorbed by these nanoparticles, the greater the heat they will release to kill the tumor cells”, explains João Horta Belo.

The research thus made it possible to demonstrate that it is possible to optimize the experimental conditions so that the nanoparticles absorb the maximum energy, produce more heat, heating and eliminating cancer cells.

The work is part of a larger study based on the use of nanotechnologies for the diagnosis and detection of cancer and which gave rise to collaborations between the FCUP, the Champalimaud Foundation, in Lisbon, and the Gregório Maranhão Hospital, in Madrid.

Source: Observadora

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