Boeing has invented a way to bind diamonds in the form of quantum dots to cancerous cells and destroy them.
Quantum dots are nanostructures which can be tailored to absorb and emit light radiation of desired wavelengths. The idea is to get a quantum dot attached to a cancerous cell and then cause it to generate destructive UV rays.
In order to carry the quantum dot to the cancerous cell, the invention uses a target moiety that can specifically bind with cancerous or pathogenic cells.
The target moiety is attached to the quantum dot with a linker and then coated with a biocompatible material such as fat, carbohydrate, protein etc. Boeing calls the resulting compound a “bioconjugated nanoparticle” which is then injected into the blood stream.
Once the bioconjugated nanoparticle attaches with a cancerous cell, the patient is exposed to soft x-rays. The quantum dot is designed to absorb the x-rays and emit UV radiation. This UV radiation then destroys the cell by disrupting its membrane and damaging DNA.
Existing methods of UV radiation therapy can’t reach deep regions of tissue because of limited penetration of UV. And this technique from Boeing can target and destroy cancerous cells throughout the body since x-rays have higher penetrative power.
Publication number: US 9289511
Patent Title: Bioconjugated nanoparticles
Publication date: 22 Mar 2016
Filing date: 25 Nov 2013
Inventors: Maurice P. Bianchi;
Applicant: The Boeing Company