Algae diatoms are now being used to kill cancer! A new research paper on nano-particles from Adelaide (Australia) has worked with researchers at the Dresden University of Technology (TUD) to create an algae-encapsulated chemotherapy, as published in Nature.
This is certainly exciting stuff. Diatoms are a type of microalgae that have a silica based ‘shell’, which a University of South Australia team has managed to engineer into chemotherapy transporters to selectively kill tumor cells. The research at their Future Industries Institute is led by Nico Voelcker, who has long looked into the use of nano-silica porous materials to deliver chemo drugs in cancer.
These nano-silica casings are one method of avoiding damage to healthy tissues – a major set-back in chemotherapy. The downside is that such materials are expensive and toxic to produce in the nanomedical field, forcing researchers to seek other avenues of manufacture.
An international team published a paper in Nature Communications from the Adelaide team therefore included collaborators from the Dresden University of Technology (TUD),