Scientists managed to destroy 99% of cancer cells using vibrating molecules - ForumDaily
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Scientists managed to destroy 99% of cancer cells using vibrating molecules

Scientists have discovered a new way to destroy cancer cells. Stimulating aminocyanin molecules with near-infrared light led to their synchronous vibrations, sufficient to destroy the membranes of cancer cells. The publication told in more detail science alert.

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Aminocyanin molecules are already used in bioimaging as synthetic dyes. Typically used in low doses to detect cancer, they remain stable in water and adhere well to the outer surfaces of cells.

The research team from Rice University and the University of Texas says the new approach is a marked improvement over previously developed another type of molecular cancer-killing machine called Fering-type motors, which could also destroy the structures of problem cells.

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“This is a whole new generation of molecular machines that we call molecular jackhammers,” says chemist James Tour of Rice University. “In their mechanical motion, they are more than a million times faster than previous Fering-type engines, and they can also be activated by near-infrared light rather than visible light.”

Using near-infrared light is important because it allows scientists to penetrate deeper into the body. Potentially, cancer in bones and organs could be treated without having to resort to surgery to get to the cancerous tumor.


In tests on laboratory-grown cancer cells, the molecular jackhammer method showed a 99 percent success rate in killing cells. The method was tested on mice with melanoma tumors, and half of the animals got rid of cancer.

The structure and chemical properties of aminocyanine molecules allow them to synchronize with the right stimulus, such as near-infrared light. When moving, electrons inside molecules form so-called plasmons - collective vibrations that set the entire molecule in motion.

“It must be emphasized that we have discovered another explanation for how these molecules might work,” explains chemist Ciceron Ayala-Orozco of Rice University. “This is the first time a molecular plasmon has been used to excite an entire molecule and produce a mechanical effect to achieve a specific goal, in this case rupture of the membrane of cancer cells.”

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On the one hand, plasmons have an “arm” that helps connect molecules to cancer cell membranes while the vibrational motion tears them apart. The research is still in its early stages, but early results are very promising.

In addition, this is such a simple biomechanical method that it will be difficult for cancer cells to come up with some kind of blockade. Next, the researchers plan to study other types of molecules that could be used in a similar way.

“This study explores a different way to treat cancer using mechanical forces at the molecular level,” Ayala-Orozco said.

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