Drug-filled nanobubbles triggered by X-rays aim at cancer treatment: Aussie researchers

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-16 14:46:29|Editor: ZD
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SYDNEY, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Australia have developed drug-filled "nanobubbles" that can be triggered in the body with X-rays, paving the way for a new range of cancer treatments, Australian researchers said on Monday.

The bubbles or liposomes are commonly used in pharmacology to encapsulate drugs and make them more effective in treating disease.

The standard X-rays can also be used to activate the tiny sacs engineered to discharge their drug load, according to a statement from Australia's ARC Center for Nanoscale BioPhotonics(CNBP).

"Liposomes are already well established as an extremely effective drug-delivery system ... these bubbles' are relatively simple to prepare, can be filled with appropriate medications and then injected into specific parts of the body," said Dr Wei Deng, associate investigator at the CNBP.

The issue is in controlling the timely release of the drug from the liposome, said Dr Deng.

"We have ensured that the liposomes release their drug pay-load at exactly the right time and in exactly the right place to ensure the most effective treatment. One way of doing this is to trigger the collapse of the liposome when and where it is needed. Our X-ray triggerable liposomes allow this on-demand drug-release to occur," she said.

The next steps in the researchers' work, which used the nanobubbles to successfully kill cancer cells in a laboratory setting, will involve clinical trials and protocols toward regulatory approval, said the center's deputy director Professor Ewa Goldys.