Biocompatible nanoparticles dissolve after delivering drugs that kill cancer cells

07/25/2016 - 20:13

Image: Lubov Osminkina

Lomonosov Moscow State University researchers, in collaboration with German colleagues, have applied silicon nanoparticles to diagnose and cure cancer. For the first time, scientists have demonstrated the ability of particles to penetrate into diseased cells and dissolve completely after delivering therapeutic drugs. The details of the research are presented in an article published in the latest issue of Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine.


Ref: Studies of silicon nanoparticles uptake and biodegradation in cancer cells by Raman spectroscopy. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine (13 April 2016) | DOI: 10.1016/j.nano.2016.04.004


In-vitro Raman micro-spectroscopy was used for diagnostics of the processes of uptake and biodegradation of porous silicon nanoparticles (SiNPs) in breast cancer cells (MCF-7 cell line). Two types of nanoparticles, with and without photoluminescence in the visible spectral range, were investigated. The spatial distribution of photoluminescent SiNPs within the cells obtained by Raman imaging was verified by high-resolution structured-illumination optical microscopy. Nearly complete biodegradation of SiNPs inside the living cells was observed after 13 days of the incubation. The results reveal new prospects of multi-modal visualization of SiNPs inside cancer cells for theranostic applications.