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Bacteria ferry nanoparticles into cells for early diagnosis, treatment

iruses and bacteria.

"With other techniques, you can usually incorporate only one copy of your gene cargo to each bacterium or virus particle," Akin said.

In the new approach, bacteria can carry hundreds of nanoparticles, each of which can in turn carry hundreds of drug molecules, depending on the size of the nanoparticles.

The approach also could make it possible to insert relatively large structures, such as sensors and hollow filaments called carbon nanotubes, into the interiors of cells.

The sensors could make it possible to monitor activities inside a single cell for the early detection of cancer and other diseases and to monitor the progress of disease and response to drug therapy. The carbon nanotubes could be delivered into diseased cells and then exposed to light, causing them to heat up and kill only those diseased cells, Akin said.


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Contact: Emil Venere
venere@purdue.edu
765-494-4709
Purdue University
13-Jun-2007


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