Scientists have discovered a new way to destroy cancer cells. Stimulating aminocyanine molecules with near-infrared light caused them to vibrate in sync, enough to break apart the membranes of cancer cells.
Aminocyanine molecules are already used in bioimaging as synthetic dyes. Commonly used in low doses to detect cancer, they stay stable in water and are very good at attaching themselves to the outside of cells
The research team from Rice University, Texas A&M University, and the University of Texas, says the new approach is a marked improvement over another kind of cancer-killing molecular machine previously developed, called Feringa-type motors, which could also break the structures of problematic cells.
The use of near-infrared light is important because it enables scientists to get deeper into the body. Cancer in bones and organs could potentially be treated without needing surgery to get to the cancer growth.
In tests on cultured, lab-grown cancer cells, the molecular jackhammer method scored a 99 percent hit rate at destroying the cells. The approach was also tested on mice with melanoma tumors, and half the animals became cancer-free.
Source: Science Alert