December 5, 2022

Specifically targeting malignant cells in a patient’s body, researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati (IIT-G) have created a new methodology for chemotherapy medications. According to the researchers, the discovered approach will enable the creation of chemotherapeutic medication carriers with increased efficacy and minimal side effects.

The breakthrough findings of the study were published in esteemed journals of The Royal Society of Chemistry, including “Chemical Communications” and “Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry.” The research articles were co-authored by Debasis Manna, a professor in the IIT-G department of chemistry, and his research assistants, including Subhasis Dey, Anjali Patel, and Biswa Mohan Prusty.

The IIT-Plaboni G’s Sen and Siddhartha Sankar Ghosh, as well as Calcutta University’s Arindam Bhattacharyya and Soumya Chatterjee, collaborated on anti-cancer initiatives.

Recently, Chemical Communications’ cover page featured an aspect of ongoing research. The issue with current chemotherapeutic medications is that in addition to killing malignant cells, they also cause a host of unfavorable side effects. In fact, the IIT-G reported that the side effects of chemotherapy are thought to be just as responsible for cancer fatalities as the illness itself.

The molecules that the research team created have four unique characteristics that cater to these objectives. In water, the molecules band together to create spherical hollow shells. These ten millionth of a meter-sized shells can be employed as a tiny container for the medication molecule.

The molecule’s acetazolamide ligand, which is one of its second characteristics, specifically attaches to cancer cells rather than healthy ones.

The presence of a photocleavable linker moiety that reacts to infrared light and ruptures the shell upon infrared exposure is the third characteristic of the molecule.

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In order to visually observe the entire process, the molecules also contain a dye moiety (cyanine-3), which is useful for both fluoresce and scattering-based imaging.

The molecules created by the IIT-G researchers act as drug capsules that self-assemble to hold the drug, which then adheres selectively to cancer cells. When exposed to infrared light, the shell cracks, releasing the medicine inside into the malignant cell.