Cancer represents a major concern not only in the medicine area, but in all the science sectors around the globe. Now, nanotechnology is leading the area of research development thanks to some new discoveries that allow the scientific community to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In previous research, the creation of nanoparticles covered with gold have revolutionized the way cancer treatment is been developed. This particle covered with gold is called a gold nanoshell. This leads to the question of why gold is been used in this nanoparticles instead of other materials. The reason is that gold have ideal metallic properties that does not affect the human body
Gold have been used a long time ago to treat different conditions like Lagophthalmos, which is an inability of a person to close their eyes completely. This condition is treated by implanting a small amount of gold to the upper eyelid, applying some weight, forcing the eyelid to close. Also, gold is one of the main materials used for the fabrication of medical instrument (electronic equipment, surgical instruments, and life-support devices).
One of the most important fuctions of gold in medicine is the diagnosis. Latest research in medicine is leading towards the transport of gold through the human body to detect anomalies . Here is where the gold nanoshells play a major role. The main concern is how we can direct a nanoparticle covered with gold to an specific area affected by cancer cells. Studies revealed that gold can be excited with the irradiation of light at a certain wave length. This is a huge discovery because this tells the scientific researchers that using light, a specimen with gold can be directed to a certain area of the organism that is affected with cancer. The results are promising because with the advances of technology, in a short time we can synthesize a particle with a thin layer of gold and with a laser emitting the desired wave length, to send this particle with some kind of cancer healing medicine to the selected area. One important aspect is that when we change the core size and the diameter of the thickness of gold, the light (near infrared) can be converted into heat, killing the area affected by the cancer. This has been proved on mice and the results are promising.
Definitely, the nanotechnology is always revolutionizing the area of research development with a common material, but with a lot of positive results that leads to eradicate one of the principal causes of mortality around the world.
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Javier E. Rosado Marrero