Anticancer Graphene

Anticancer Graphene

Author: David Bradley

The all-carbon material, graphene, has a reputation as something of a “wonder material” among scientists hoping to exploit its novel physical, chemical, photonic, and electrical properties. A team at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, has functionalized the material and used a silicon coating to create a nanosheet that could circumvent some of the problems in treating the otherwise difficult-to-treat cancer of the nervous system and brain, glioma.

By adding a targeting peptide to their nanosheet they have created a multifunctional mesoporous material that can carry an anticancer drug as its payload in the form of doxorubicin (pictured). Their initial tests show that the material boosts the rate at which malignant glioma cells dies on exposure when compared with conventional chemotherapy or phototherapy alone. The nanosheets allow the anticancer agent to accumulate more effectively in the target cells as well as acting to enhance the effects of phototherapy. The team suggests that this material would lower the number of invasive chemotherapy sessions for glioma patients and potentially reduce the side effects.

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