… I’m unapologetically fascinated by the activities of a new National Cancer Institute center here at UC San Diego:
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) today awarded the University of California, San Diego $3.9 million in the first year of a five-year $20 million initiative to establish a Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (CCNE). The UCSD center will use nanotechnology to develop anti-cancer therapies that directly target tumor cells; more accurate and faster diagnostics; and ways to track down cancer cells that survive therapy.
… The focus of the UCSD team will be to develop “mother ships,” smart nanoplatforms capable of homing in on tumors and delivering payloads of smaller particles to perform various tasks in the tumors. About the size of a red blood cell, these micron-sized nanoporous mother ships would move through the body, target specific tumor cells or the blood vessels that feed them. After arriving at their destinations, mother ships would release their payload nanoparticles, which could be designed to help image tumors, enter cells and perform measurements, and deliver therapies.