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Magnetic nano-capsules, cancer imaging and therapy, cryoEM

Dr Khuloud T. Al-Jamal
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False-coloured cryo-transmission electron micrograph (cryoEM) of soft nano capsules. The nano-capsule shell is made of polymer and natural phospholipids and can be loaded with drugs or imaging agents within its core. In this image, nano-capsules were loaded with either an anti-cancer drug (green/pink capsules), or an anti-cancer drug combined with the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent superparamagnetic iron oxide (dense capsules; blue/black). Delivering drug and contrast agent together allows simultaneous cancer treatment and imaging. This is an emerging field called 'image-guided drug delivery'. To image the nano-capsule without losing its natural 3D structure when exposed to a vacuum, a freezing step was introduced to preserve its native structure. Diameter of the nano-capsule is approximately 100 nanometres.


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