Health University experts genetically engineer algae to combat cancer

University experts genetically engineer algae to combat cancer

New interdisciplinary research from the University of South Australia has revealed the frontline role tiny algae could play in the battle against cancer, through the innovative use of nanotechnology.

The team has genetically engineered diatom algae to become therapeutic nanoporous particles, which, when loaded with chemotherapeutic drugs can be used to destroy cancer cells in the human body, without harming healthy cells.

“By genetically engineering diatom algae – tiny, unicellular, photosynthesizing algae with a skeleton made of nanoporous silica, we are able to produce an antibody-binding protein on the surface of their shells,” Research lead, Professor Nico Voelcker says.

This novel drug delivery system based on a biotechnologically tailored, renewable material holds a lot of potential for the therapy of solid tumours including currently untreatable brain tumors.

[img source] Proyecto Agua (CCA2.0).

The above story is based on materials provided by the University of South Australia.