Scientists in Australia have successfully engineered algae nanoparticles to combat cancer. They were successful in killing over 90% of the targeted cancer cells. They were also able to kill of cancerous tumours in mice. With the use of engineered Diatom algae combined with chemotherapy drugs “we are seeing a regression in tumours in mice” said Nico Voelcker from the University of South Australia.
Chemotherapy drugs are usually toxic to healthy tissues, however the researchers engineered the algae to produce antibody-binding proteins which bind only to molecules on cancerous cells. Allowing the researches to implant the chemotherapy drugs within the algae and then directly target only the cancerous cells.
The research is currently in it’s infancy, although it will hopefully be available to everyone in the next 5-10 years time.