Nanotechnology Takes On Cancer

January 30, 2004 | Source: Forbes

The NIH Roadmap for Medical Research includes nanomedicine research for cancer therapy.

For example, the Center For Biologic Nanotechnology at the University of Michigan is developing dendrimers (molecules shaped like spheres and made up of nanoscale polymers in a very specific pattern) that can create smart-therapeutic nanodevices used to treat disease. One type seeks out and recognizes only cancer cells. Another type can diagnose what type of cancer it is, while a third type of dendrimer is able to deliver drugs to destroy it. A fourth type can report the location of the tumor to a doctor (a labeling molecule for X-ray or MRI), and yet another can confirm that a cancer cell has been killed.