In a lab experiment, vibrating molecules eliminate 99% of cancer cells

Medical professionals have been devoting a great deal of time and resources to finding a treatment for cancer, a disease that claims millions of lives annually. A revolutionary finding has been discovered by a multidisciplinary research team that includes specialists from Rice University, Texas A&M University, and the University of Texas. They have discovered a way to eradicate cancer cells by using the special ability of certain molecules to vibrate violently in response to light stimulation.

According to a statement, the researchers discovered that when activated by near-infrared light, the atoms of a tiny dye molecule used for medical imaging may vibrate in synchrony, creating what is known as a plasmon, which causes the cell membrane of malignant cells to burst. The approach had a 99 percent efficacy rate against lab cultures of human melanoma cells, and half of the mice with melanoma tumors recovered from their malignancy following therapy, according to the report published in Nature Chemistry.

“It is a whole new generation of molecular machines that we call molecular jackhammers,” Rice chemist James Tour said. His lab has previously used nanoscale compounds to drill through the outer membrane of treatment-resistant fungi, cancer cells, and infectious bacteria. These compounds are equipped with a light-activated paddle-like chain of atoms that spins continuously in the same direction.

Unlike nanoscale drills that draw inspiration from Nobel winner Bernard Feringa’s molecular motors, molecular jackhammers work via an entirely new and unheard-of method.

“They can be activated with near-infrared light instead of visible light, and their mechanical motion is more than a million times faster than the previous Feringa-type motors,” Mr. Tour said.

Compared to visible light, near-infrared light may reach organs and bones far deeper into the body without causing tissue damage.

“We activated the nanodrills using visible light, which can only penetrate half a centimeter into the human body,” explained Mr. Tour, the T T and W F Chao Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science and Nanoengineering at Rice University. “Near-infrared light can penetrate as deep as 10 centimeters into the human body.” “It is a huge advance.”

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