New study investigates the impact of gold nanoparticles on B lymphocytes

Market Expertz   |     July 03, 2019


Researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), along with the National Centre of Competence in Research titled "Bio-inspired Materials" and Swansea University Medical School, (United Kingdom), are testing a variety of gold nanoparticles to evaluate the impact they have in human B lymphocytes, which are the immune cells that produce antibodies. Employing these nanoparticles will enhance the efficiency of pharmaceutical products and limit potential adverse effects. The methodology given in the study can also be applied in examining the biocompatibility of any nanoparticle at an initial stage in the development of new nanodrug. The findings of the research have been published in ACS Nano. The study will give way to the development of more effective therapies, particularly in the discipline of oncology.

B lymphocytes are an integral part of the human immune system, which makes it valuable for developing preventive and therapeutic vaccines. Carole Bourquin, Professor, UNIGE's Faculties of Medicine and Science, co-author of the study, explains that nanoparticles can act as a protective vehicle for vaccines, or even other drugs, to deliver them precisely where they can have maximum impact, without harming healthy cells. This targeted treatment also requires a low dose of immunostimulant and increases the efficacy alongside lowering the side effects, given that the nanoparticles do not harm all immune cells. Other studies of the kind have been performed for other immune cells like macrophages; however, this is the first study involving B lymphocytes. Gold is ideal for nanomedicine due to its particular physicochemical characteristics. The metal is easily malleable and is suitable for the body, which is why gold nanoparticles are useful in targeting tumors.

Sandra Hočevar, a researcher at UNIGE, says that when the nanoparticles are exposed to a light source, they release heat and kill the cancer cells in the surrounding. A drug can be attached to the surface of the nanoparticles to be delivered to a particular location, adds Hočevar. Additionally, the researchers have designed gold spheres to test their safety as well as the ideal formula for medical use, along with gold rods to examine the effects of shape and coating.

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