Issue Date: February 24, 2014
Nanofibers Guide Brain Tumor Cells
Glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive, difficult-to-treat brain cancer, spreads by migrating along topographical features in the organ. Ravi V. Bellamkonda of Georgia Tech and Emory University and coworkers have harnessed this migratory behavior to lead tumor cells to a cell-killing hydrogel. They designed a device that consists of a polycaprolactone-polyurethane tube containing aligned polycaprolactone nanofibers. The tube leads to a collagen-based hydrogel conjugated to cyclopamine, an apoptosis-inducing drug (Nat. Mater. 2014, DOI: 10.1038/nmat3878). The nanofibers provide directional cues, leading the tumor cells to the hydrogel. The researchers implanted tumor guides in rats with glioblastoma so that one end was in the brain cortex near the tumor and the other end was outside the cortex. Nanofiber-filled guides reduced the tumor volume by 93% compared with the control, but empty or smooth-film-filled conduits did not. Such cell guides could help move tumor cells from inoperable locations to ones that are more easily accessible, the researchers suggest.
- Chemical & Engineering News
- ISSN 0009-2347
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