Intelligent Cancer-Fighting Skin Lotion

Intelligent Cancer-Fighting Skin Lotion

By Shinji Tutoru

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, ILLINOIS, USA. A gene-altering lotion has been developed with the help of nanoparticles. Genetic therapy in the near future could be as easy as applying a lotion on your skin. It works by soaking nanoscale compounds through your epidermis to alter your DNA. According to some researchers from the International Institute for Nanotechnology in Northwestern University, the new class of nucleic acid structures can help protect your skin from skin cancer.

Human skin tends to dry out and even burn under the summer sun. However, it is still a very tough barrier which keeps away different kinds of invaders from entering our body. There are so many different skin lotions available in the market that can be used to help target some skin disorders. However, it cannot go as deep as it should.

Chad Mirkin, PhD, professor of chemistry and his group of researchers discovered that spherical nucleic acid (SNA) nanoparticles can actually be used for effective gene regulation and can actually enter cells easily. Amy Paller, MD, chair of dermatology was the one who encourage Dr. Mirkin to adapt his research to skin application.

With this technology, we are talking about structures of nucleic acids which is about 1,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair each. They are capable of binding to natural proteins which enable them to go through the skin and enter the cells. Once they are inside the cells, they can turn off the disease-causing genes in a selective manner. The best part about it is that acid agglomerates can easily recognize the healthy genes from the mutant genes.

Invention Gene-altering Lotion
Organization Northwestern University, Illinois, USA
Researcher Amy S. Paller and Chad Mirkin
Field(s) Skin disease, Cancer, Skin Cancer, Nano Technology, Biotechnology, Skin Products, Dermatology, Gene Alteration, Gold Particles
Further Information POPSCI

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