Lite Brite Cancer Therapy

Did you know that you can wrap up misbehaving cells with attitude-adjusting nano-sheets and ‘show them the door’? Well, now you do. A team of scientists at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University have created Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) nano-sheets that become activated by a thing called Near Infrared Radiation (NIR).

MoS2 nano sheet

Here’s how it works. Oddly enough, MoS2 is biocompatible. NIR wavelengths can penetrate the skin without hurting you, and if they interact with a MoS2 nano-sheet it will warm up and compel the cell near it to do things that it would otherwise not do.

See the source image

The coolest thing about the research is how these injectable nano sheets can wrap up a target cell and keep it from knowing where it is. When you do this to bad cells, like cancer cells, they are stopped from moving indefinitely, which is a good thing.

With the exception of the light chart for NIR, all of the cool images were swiped from the original article.

James K. Carrow et al, Photothermal modulation of human stem cells using light-responsive 2D nanomaterials, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2020). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1914345117

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