Scientists create “nanomachines” that kill cancer cells: how it works

Scientists from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, led by Yongdo Chung, have created new biochemical nanomachines that penetrate the cell membrane and kill the cancer cell using molecular movements.

“When creating our nanomachines, we were inspired by proteins that perform biological functions, changing their shape depending on their environment. We believe that using this method of treatment it is possible to kill cancer cells without the help of drugs,” says Chung.

As you know, cancer cells have the ability to quickly divide and spread just as quickly in the tissues of the body, which leads to the appearance of cancerous tumors. Most modern cancer treatments involve killing cancer cells.

According to statistics, hundreds of thousands of people die from various types of cancer every year in the United States alone. The average age of a cancer patient is 66 years. The most common types of cancer in the world are breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer. According to scientists, proteins are often called biological “nanomachines” because they can change their structure with the help of mechanical movements. Even small changes in proteins affect the processes in the human body.

Therefore, scientists decided to create new nanomachines that will look like proteins. Scientists have created these objects by combining gold nanoparticles with a diameter of 2 nm with molecules that can act differently depending on the environment.

The new nanomachines are made up of movable organic molecules and inorganic nanoparticles that, using mechanical molecular motion, can penetrate cell membranes and destroy cancer cells.


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