Now, she's published a new paper showing that neural stem cells containing tiny gold nanorods can deliver a form of heat therapy to breast tumors. The work was published in Advanced Healthcare Materials.
City of Hope described the work like this:
There’s much to like about gold, therapeutically speaking. Gold is nontoxic, and gold nanoparticle rods are relatively easy to make. Most important, the rods vibrate at a certain frequency, which turns them into tiny antennae.They say that the technique could also be effective in other types of cancer like bladder or ovarian tumors.
This frequency allows physicians to use a special laser that targets only those spots where the nanorods are vibrating – leaving the healthy tissue unharmed.
CIRM funding: Rachael Mooney (TG2-01150)
Schnarr K, Mooney R, Weng Y, Zhao D, Garcia E, Armstrong B, Annala AJ, Kim SU, Aboody KS, & Berlin JM (2013). Gold Nanoparticle-Loaded Neural Stem Cells for Photothermal Ablation of Cancer. Advanced healthcare materials PMID: 23592703