Globally, nearly 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer. Around one third of deaths is due to the 5 leading behavioural and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use. Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, recording 14.1 million new cases in 2012 and 8.8 million deaths worldwide in 2015. And the number of new cases is expected to rise by about 70% over the next 2 decades.
But last 13th July 2017 a new scientific research may have discovered how to help us diagnose cancer in advance using nanotechnology. The discovery comes from Italy and was made by the team of the “Molecular Modeling & Drug Discovery” lab of the “Istituto italiano di tecnologia“.
According to the researchers, nanoparticle-based receptors can discover tumours in advance by recognising the small molecular markers for cancer. This is the big picture of the research published on the international research journal Chem.
The “Molecular Modeling and Drug Discovery Lab”, led by Marco De Vivo, principal investigator, develops and applies computational methods to understand, characterize, and design chemical systems capable of recognizing, signalling, interacting with, and transforming other entities. This time they may have found a way to help humanity copying with the terrible disease generically called “cancer”.
The team used noble-metal nanoparticles and discovered they can mimic the protein-ligand recognition. Through a combined computational-experimental study, they observed that the nanoparticles can take different forms based on the chemical structure of the coating thiols.
This self-organization of coating thiols can induce the formation of binding pockets in AuNPs and these transient cavities can accommodate small molecules, mimicking protein-ligand recognition. Therefore, the recognition is made based on the different conformation of the surface.
The ultimate goal is now the rational design of nanoparticle-based receptors with programmed selectivity and affinity.
We just need to wait for further studies that eventually will find the definitive cure of this devastating disease.