Researchers develop molecular assembly method for cancer therapy and diagnostics
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IMAGE: This is an illustration of the assembly of the structure based on a nanoparticle and the barnase-barstar protein complex. view more 

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Biophysicists have developed a method for modifying the surface of micro- and nanoparticles — tiny structures measuring between a thousandth and a millionth of a millimeter –by covering them with biological molecules. Engineered in this way, the particles can serve as both therapeutic and diagnostic agents, delivering drugs to cancer cells.

The paper was published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Its authors are researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IBCh RAS), National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, Sechenov University, and Macquarie University (Australia).

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The concept of a “magic bullet” was originally formulated around 1900 by Paul Ehrlich, the winner of the 1908 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. He envisioned drugs that would have a component which recognizes the pathogen in the body and another component that acts on the target. Usually, such drugs target receptors on the surface of the damaged cells. These receptors also allow the agent to recognize the cell. A universal system

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