Researchers and scientists are continuously working for the improvement and betterment of the humankind and society. They have also achieved enormous success in variety of their studies and researches due to their efforts and hard work. And one such study that will definitely prove to be extremely effective to fight diseases like cancer and other viral infections is the creation of “nanorobot”. Yes, University of Florida researchers have moved a step forward to a treating disease on cellular level by creating a tiny particle that can be programmed to target different diseases by shutting down the genetic production line that creates disease-related proteins.
In laboratory tests, “nanorobots” were able to exterminate hepatitis C virus infection by preventing the virus from multiplying. Dr. Chen Liu, a professor of pathology and endowed chair in gastrointestinal and liver research in the UF College of Medicine said, “This is a novel technology that may have broad application because it can target essentially any gene we want. This opens the door to new fields so we can test many other things. We’re excited about it.” During the past five decade, nanoparticles have appeared as a feasible foundation for new ways to diagnose, monitor and treat disease. The technology based on nanoparticles is already in use in medical settings, such as pinpointing genetic markers of disease and in genetic testing. The Holy Grail of this therapy is an agent so exquisitely selective that it penetrates only diseased cells and targets only the specified process within those cells and leaves healthy cells unharmed.
Hepatitis C infection affects more than 3 million people in the U.S. and about 17,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Current treatments available for Hepatitis C are only partially effective, helping not even half the patients. The particle created UF researchers can be tailored to match the genetic material of the desired target and sneak into cells unnoticed by the body’s defense mechanism. The nanorobot is comprised of two main biological components and gold nanoparticles. Jointly, they recognize the targeted genetic material and destroy it. Future therapies could be in the form of pill.
Liu, a member of the UF Shands Cancer Center said, “We can effectively stop hepatitis C infection if this technology can be further developed for clinical use.” The programmable nature of particles means it could also be potentially useful against diseases such as cancer and other viral infections. The promise of nanotechnology is amazing; it will definitely have a significant and real impact on how medicine is practiced.