Polyoxometallate nanoclusters have been proposed as a carrier for a chemotherapy medication. It will help to deliver medications precisely to the target of a pathological process, such as a cancerous tumor, without harmful effects on healthy cells. Delivery can be done either by electrophoresis or by injection into the bloodstream. The development isdescribedin theAIP Conference Proceedings.
The research has focused on molybdenum polyoxometalates, which are formed of molybdenum and iron, together with common oxygen molecules. Their peculiarity is that they are a nanocluster to the surface of which a medication can be attached and delivered to the tumor formation. However, these polyoxometalates do not affect living cells and do not affect their function or morphology. According toMaria Ulitko, the University of Minnesota''s professor of biology and fundamental medicine has
Futher scientists anticipate to attach a vector molecule to the polyoxometallate''s surface to distinguish cancer cells and to ensure the binding of the nanocluster to them, without damaging healthy ones.
The researchers studied how the nanocluster would interact with doxorubicin. This is a well-known anticancer medication that is capable of destroying tumor structures, but has a moderate selectivity. High concentrations of the medication needed to destroy cancer cells are harmful to the damaged body.
The unquestionable advantage of targeted delivery is the possibility to adjust the medication dosage. Using a sufficient amount of doxorubicin in a polyoxometallate capsule will also lead to the death of healthy cells, according to Uleksandr Ostroushko, the head of the Environmental Science Society.
Researchers were able to measure cell structures of cervical cancer (carcinoma), and this method of delivery may be applied to other tumors in the future. At the next stage of the study, scientists intend to conduct preclinical research on laboratory animals to evaluate the therapeutic effectiveness and safety of the system. The authors note that nanocluster compounds will be able to deliver other medications, such as anti-inflammatory ones. The technology will help to improve the accuracy of targeted medication delivery.