The side effects of ingesting too much caffeine -- restlessness, increased heart rate, having trouble sleeping -- are well-known, but recent research has shown that the stimulant also has a good side. It can kill cancer cells. Now, researchers report that combining a caffeine-based compound with a small amount of gold could someday be used as an anti-cancer agent.(10.1021/ic403011h)
Researchers have designed nanoparticles with one half formed of gold branches and the other of silicon oxide. They are a kind of Janus particle, so-called in honor of the Roman god with two faces, which could be used in phototherapy in the future to treat tumors.(10.1039/C3CC47531J)
A team of researchers at the University of Toronto has discovered a method of assembling "building blocks" of gold nanoparticles as the vehicle to deliver cancer medications or cancer-identifying markers directly into cancerous tumors. The study, led by Warren Chan, professor at the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering and the Donnelly Centre for Cellular & Biomolecular Research, appears in an article in Nature Nanotechnology this week.