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AMRITA researchers find way to ‘burn’ liver cancer

UNI Nov 16, 2017

Researchers at Amrita Hospital in Kochi have turned a substance commonly found in bones into a potent weapon that can seek and kill tumour cells.




Tiny particles of calcium phosphate, a biomineral that is a natural constituent of the bone, when doped with similarly small iron particles, can become what medical scientists call a theranostic agent, a substance that serves both diagnostic and therapeutic functions.

The team led by Shantikumar Nair and Manzoor Koyakutty of the Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine at AMRITA demonstrated that these iron-doped calcium phosphate nanoparticles, at least 10-fold smaller than the smallest dust particle, can be guided to the liver where tumour-afflicted tissues can be scarred using radio waves.

“We have been working on calcium phosphate nanoparticles that can be used for tissue engineering applications, for a while.
But our interest was in finding whether this material could be used for imaging (diagnostic) applications,” said Koyakutty, the lead author of a recently paper published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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