Fighting Cancer at the Nano Level

Our new microscopy techniques are revolutionising our understanding of how nanoparticles move through cells, in breakthrough studies that are leading to more effective drug delivery.

A team of chemical engineers, scientists and medical researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology have identified that the shape of nanoparticles affects their ability to move through a cell towards its nucleus. 

The team applied a new microscopy method to drug delivery, which allowed them to track the movement of differently shaped nanoparticles through a single cultured cancer cell. They could observe where drugs were being released, and how the nanoparticles crossed barriers within the cells. 

Drug delivery research means it will be possible to tailor particles to reach the nucleus or other structures in a cell, leading to new possibilities in the treatment of cancer, diagnosis and imaging.