Treating Cancer with Diamonds

  • Author: ChemistryViews
  • Published: 15 September 2011
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: Small/Wiley-VCH
thumbnail image: Treating Cancer with Diamonds

Ewing sarcoma is a genetic disease and the most frequent bone cancer in children. New treatments are being developed based on small interfering RNA (siRNA). siRNAs have been shown to inhibit in vitro expression of the key EWS-Fli1 gene and in vivo tumor growth. Despite their high in vitro efficiency, siRNAs are quickly degraded in physiological fluids and have a poor capacity to enter cells. Cargo delivery systems could greatly improve their in vivo efficiency.


François Treussart and co-workers, CNRS–National Center of Scientific Research, France, developed cationic nanodiamonds (ND) able to bind siRNAs at their surface. siRNA was adsorbed onto NDs that were coated with cationic polymer. Cell uptake of NDs was demonstrated by taking advantage of the NDs’ intrinsic fluorescence from embedded color-center defects.

The nanodiamonds delivered siRNA into human cell lines originating from Ewing sarcoma tumors and had several advantages compared with the usual transfection agent Lipofectamine, including a larger efficiency in inhibiting EWS-Fli1 expression, and lower cell toxicity.


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