16 May '16
MISiS, a leading technology university in Moscow, has slated for 2018 clinical trials of Russia’s first magnetite-based nanotech solution for early MRI-aided cancer diagnostics.
The agent candidate is said to be planned for use in brain tumor diagnosis first. Then it should be adapted to other cancer diagnostics purposes.
The MISiS scientists have managed to develop a solution 40 nanometers in size on average, which contains biopolymer-coated magnetite. Magnetite nanoparticles are clearly visible in magnetic resonance imaging, which is expected to enable physicians to pinpoint a tumor at an early stage. Unlike most other agents available today, magnetite is not toxic and also considerably less expensive than the agents currently used.
“At the moment, we’re studying magnetite nanoparticles based agents coated with a biopolymer and having a cancer drug “built in.” We have come up with a brand new technology that makes it possible to intentionally release the drug in very specific cancerous cells,” MISiS’ Alexander Mazhuga was quoted as saying.
In a near future, the technology can also be used for targeted delivery of a drug to tumors. Magnetite will reportedly be coated with a special “vector substance” which can “feel” receptors on the surface of cancerous cells. Then it is expected to get inside the cells and toxically impact these only, leaving the rest of the body intact.