Nanoparticles to aid cancer treatments-
- November 14, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Nanoparticles to aid cancer treatments-
Subject :Science and Technology
- Conventional therapies in cancer treatment face challenges in the delivery of drugs in the body and just the quantity needed, due to the toxic nature of the medicines used that have unwanted side effects.
Which kind of nanomaterials can be used?
- In nanomedicine, three kinds of nanomaterials are studied predominantly – organic, inorganic and hybrid involving both.
- They include dendrimers, liposomes and exosomes, quantum dots, fullerenes, polymeric micelles, nanoemulsions, RNA nanoparticles and nanotubes.
- Examples of organic molecules are dendrimers — which have a branched structure — and liposomes that are akin to lipids, with each having a property that helps inhibit a cancer cell.
Use of Nanomaterials in Cancer treatment-
- Nanomaterials have ‘enormous’ potential in cancer treatment.
- They help alter the drug toxicity profile with enhanced surface characteristics which can diffuse inside the tumour cells.
- They deliver an optimal concentration of nano drugs at tumour sites and reduce toxicity.
- The spherical gold nanoparticles synthesised in the lab using marine bacteria Vibrio alginolyticus were effective in decreasing cell viability in the breast cancer cell lines.
- 12 nanomedicines that have been clinically approved for the treatment of cancer.
- Liposomes form the bulk of the mentions — in 4 cases — and are used in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, acute myeloid leukaemia and osteosarcoma.
- Nanoparticles (particles less than 100nm in length) trump traditional drugs and their delivery mechanisms across three areas: surface characteristics, the ability to alter the toxicity of active cancer cells, and tumour-specific constituents.
- An inorganic nanoparticle such as gold, silver or platinum, acts as a drug carrier.
- The electrostatic forces between adjacent molecules help in the drug delivery to the tumour site.
- Nanomaterials are useful when only a specific amount of drug needs to be delivered and anything in excess would only cause side effects of the drug.
- When nano drugs reach the cancer site, they inactivate the multiplying property of the cancer cell by mutating the ‘signalling pathways’ that aid the proliferation of cells.
Liposomes as a drug carrier-
- Liposomes disseminate inside a cell and easily disintegrate with time.
- In the use of metals, there is always the danger of accumulation of drug residue which could have an impact on the patient in future.
- Liposomes are drug-delivery molecules that play a vital role in pharmaceuticals and in the biomedical arena.
- Marine-derived liposomes act as drugs.
- They are organic nanomaterials that are effective in drug delivery due to their biocompatibility, enhanced drug solubility, and non-toxic nature, in addition to being biodegradable.
- Liposomes can be derived from plants and marine sources.
Other Uses of Nanotechnology in Health Care:
- Nanotech detectors for heart attack.
- Nanochips to check plaque in arteries.
- Nanocarriers for eye surgery, chemotherapy etc.
- Diabetic pads for regulating blood sugar levels.
- Nanoparticles for drug delivery to the brain for therapeutic treatment of neurological disorders.
- Nano sponges are polymer nanoparticles coated with a red blood cell membrane, and can be used for absorbing toxins and removing them from the bloodstream.
- Nanoflares are used for detection of cancer cells in the bloodstream.
- Nanopores are used in making DNA sequencing more efficient.
Recent Use of Nanotechnology:
- Antiviral nano-coating on face masks and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits.
Risks of Nanotechnology:
- Since this field is still at its nascent stage, the likely risks are contentious.
- Regulatory authorities like the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Health and Consumer Protection Directorate of the European Commission have started assessing the potential risks posed by the nanoparticles.
- Nanotoxicology is the study of the potential health risks of nanomaterials.
- The human body can easily take up nanomaterials as they are small in size. However, there is a need for detailed research on how it would behave inside an organism. The behaviour of nanoparticles based on their size, shape and surface reactivity must be thoroughly analysed before launching them into the market.
- Nano pollution is the generic term that is used to describe the waste generated by nanodevices or nanomaterials during the manufacturing process.