Monday , June 27 2022

Soldiers are not tired of fraud, this is a war! Trojan Nano Horse Killing at scale, igniting the war between scientists and cancer cells-PanSci


  • Text / Rorschach | A free and disciplined person, who does not like to be in control or in control.

Everyone likes gifts, but if this gift pack contains lethal substances today, do you still like them? Just like the Trojan horse that the Greeks gave to the Trojans, it seemed like a gift of trophies, but it turned into a terrible poison that hides evil!

Nanyang Technological University in Singapore opens a new direction for cancer treatment. Photo / Pexels

The Nanyang Technological University team in Singapore recently developed a new way to fight cancer. Coating L-phenylalanine (L-phenylalanine) on nano particles will cause cancer cells to apoptosis after being absorbed. Although this discovery is still in the early stages of research, it is currently having good results in cell experiments and mouse experiments.

Cancer cells need lots of amino acids

For rapidly growing cancer cells, large amounts of absorption are often requiredExtracellular essential amino acidTo support its rapid growth, one of the hallmarks of many cancers is:The gene responsible for the uptake of amino acids1He will perform a lot

In addition, many studies have also confirmed that if we can reduce the uptake of amino acids in cancer cells, we can effectively reduce their growth rate. Therefore, scientists believe that strict control of the protein content in the diet of cancer patients, along with drugs, could help treat cancer.

This type of treatment not only requires strict control of the protein content in the patient’s diet, but also an adequate understanding of the patient’s body. Photo /Pexels

However, this type of treatment requires doctors to have a good understanding, monitoring and support of the patient’s physical condition, and also carries the risk of malnutrition in the patient. For cachexia (Cachexia)2 The patients are not fit.

Therefore, how to integrate the high demand for cancer cells for essential amino acids into cancer treatment has become a major problem.

The amino acid probe with hidden “poison”

In response to this problem, the research team at Nanyang Technological University designed a new treatment. L-phenylalanine, an essential amino acid, is coated on a silicon nanoparticle with a diameter of 30 nm, and the special nanoparticle is called Nano-pPAAM 3

The team’s previous research has shown that silicone nanoparticles used to transport permeable anticancer drugs can cause intracellularReactive oxygen species (Reactive oxygen species, referred to as ROS) are produced in large quantities, causing cell apoptosis (apoptosis).

So, following this line of thinking, they predicted: “If these silicone nanoparticles are coated with the essential amino acids needed by cancer cells, will the cancer cells undergo apoptosis after absorption ? ” Like a Trojan horse, the appearance will appear to be a gift for cancer cells (essential amino acid), but contains deadly soldiers (nanoparticles)

The amino acid-coated silicon nanoparticle like a Trojan horse hides the enemy, making cancer cells think it’s a gift, but they can let him die alone. Figure / wikipedia

The results of their research indicate that Nano-pPAAM can kill breast cancer, skin cancer and colorectal cancer cells more specifically than the traditional anticancer drug Cisplatin without damaging normal cells. In naked mouse experiments, Nano-pPAAM can also significantly inhibit the growth of transplanted breast cancer cells in mice.

In the past, nano particles were just poison “drivers”

The project lead for the study pointed out that the direction of this research is different from traditional nanoparticle research.

Traditional nano-particles are used for packaging and transportation. The anticancer drugs are wrapped and transported to the tumor and then stimulated to release the anticancer drugs into the tumor.

In traditional therapy,Nanoparticles play the role of transport only, It has no medicinal effect. However, in this study, the nanoparticle carries no anticancer drugs, but uses the properties of the nanoparticle itself to allow the cancer cells to produce large quantities of reactive oxygen species and allow ‘ The cancer cells die alone.

In previous studies, scientists have considered a nanoparticle primarily as a “transport of poison” rather than the “poison” itself. Photo /Pexels

In their previous research, they inadvertently discovered that nano particles of a certain size produce large amounts of active oxidants when they are fed into cells. Therefore, they decided to study in detail what physical parameters of the nano particles would cause the active oxidants to be incorporated into the cells. production.

How to transform from being a driver to a deadly poison?

Previous tests have initially shown that this phenomenon is related to the nanoparticle material. If the nanoparticle of the same size is synthesized with silver and titanium, it will not produce active oxides.Only produced with silicon synthesis

Therefore, in the subsequent tests, they first established a large number of silicon-fabricated nano-particle screening libraries.sizeNumber of holesAnd send inintensityFor the screening criteria, we successfully discovered the size, number of pores, and feed density of the nanoparticle that can make cells produce large amounts of active oxidizing substances.

What are the benefits of doing this?

In the past, even if nanoparticles successfully carried drugs into the tissues, we would do soVarious chemical and physical stimuli are needed to make the nanoparticle release the drug and produce the drug effectIn addition, the microenvironment near the tumor tissue is quite complex, making this type of stimulation difficult to occur, making cancer treatment face serious difficulties.

In the past therapy of nanoparticle transport, it was difficult to stimulate the nanoparticles to release the drug, thus increasing the difficulty of treating cancer. Photo / Pixabay

However, the Nano-pPAAM in this study does not need to carry additional drugs at all, so in the process of fighting cancer cells, we can avoid the hassle of drug delivery and metabolism, and provide a new direction for cancer treatment in the future.

Next, the research team will do R&D in the direction of “specificity” so that it can accurately attack certain types of tumors and improve its ability to kill cancer cells. Perhaps in the future Nano-pPAAM may be combined with more treatment modalities, such as the recent hot immunotherapy, allowing us to find more possibilities and hopes on the way to fighting cancer.


  1. This gene is LAT1 (The Type L Acid Carrier)
  2. Cachexia is a symptom of malnutrition caused by cancer patients because of abnormal hormone metabolism and metabolism, or because of reduced food intake.
  3. The full name of this particular nanoparticle is: Acid Imitation Porous Nanoscopin Acid.


  1. Wu, Z., Lim, HK, Tan, SJ, Gautam, A., Hou, HW, Ng, KW,… & Tay, CY (2020). Powerful Design: Amino Acids Imitating Porous Nanotherapeutics with Indigenous Anticancer Targeting Properties. Small, 16(34), 2003757.
  2. NTU Singapore scientists are inventing a ‘Trojan horse’ method to kill cancer cells without using drugs
  3. Nanoparticle Density: A Critical Biophysical Regulator of Endothelial Permeability

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