domingo, 27 de abril de 2014

Coming Soon: New Smart Biosensor That Directs Cells To Kill Cancer. Surgery Glasses

These biosensors can further be customised to recognise factors of relevance to various patients' needs. 

Monday, April 21, 2014: Biologists at the Northwestern University's McCormick school of engineering and applied science have developed a ground breaking technology that could modify human cells to create therapeutics used in turn to selectively target and destroy tumour cells in the human body without disrupting healthy cells. The unique protein biosensor engineers cells to kill cancer by helping them effectively distinguish between healthy and cancerous cells.

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While sitting on the surface of a cell, the biosensor can be programmed to sense its immediate environment for specific factors following which it sends a signal to the engineered cell's nucleus. This triggers a gene expression programme within the cell. "Till date, there was no way to engineer cells in a manner that allowed them to sense key pieces of information about their environment, which could indicate whether the engineered cell is in healthy tissue or sitting next to a tumour," Joshua Leonard, an assistant professor at Northwestern University's McCormick school of engineering and applied science was quoted as saying. 

Moreover, the programme is activated only in the vicinity of tumour cells, thereby minimising any side effects. These biosensors can further be customised to recognise factors of relevance to various patients' needs. "In that way, you could programme a cell-based therapy to specify which cells it should kill," Leonard added.

Meanmwhile, a team of scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (WUSTL) and the University of Arizona (UA) have developed a new pair of hi-tech glasses that can help surgeons to detect cancer cells. These glasses will help surgeons to visualise cancer cells which will glow blue when viewed through these glasses during surgeries. Cancer cells are invisible in normal optics even if you are viewing through a high-powered magnifying device. This innovative technology incorporates a custom video, a head mounted display and then inject a blue dye into a patient. This will specifically bind to cancer cells and makes them glow. Doctors can then easily differentiate cancer cells from healthy cells and can make sure that no tumour cells are left over during surgery. It can detect and remove tumours as small as 1mm

Saurabh Singh, EFYTIMES News Network 

ORIGINAL: EFY Times

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