Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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29 January 2013


Delivering drugs right to the heart of cancerous tumours is a challenging task. They must reach their dangerous target – which may be deep within tissues – without alerting immune cells that police the body for foreign invaders. Scientists are now tackling this predicament by camouflaging drugs in nanoparticles coated with membranes from leukocytes [white blood cells]. Unlike naked nanoparticles, these tiny disguised pouches raise no suspicion. And what’s more they behave like white blood cells, using their borrowed membranes en route to wriggle through barriers, such as blood vessels, as they home in on their target. Such coated particles, known as ‘leukolike vectors’ bring the prospect of more effective treatment for previously inaccessible cancers.

Written by Georgina Askeland

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BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

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