Zinc oxide nanocrystals could kill cancer cells

Nair, Koyakutty and coworkers introduced zinc oxide nanocrystals (ZnO NCs) into the environment around normal and cancer cells. They found found the ZnO NCs were toxic to cancer cell lines, while normal human primary cells remained less affected.

They found that the acidic microenvironment around the cancer cells was crucial to this effect as the ZnO NCs were more soluble under these conditions resulting in elevated levels of free Zn2+ ions that impaired the normal functioning of the cells’ mitochondria leading to apoptosis.

Read the Nanoscale article here:

Rapid dissolution of ZnO nanocrystals in acidic cancer microenvironment leading to preferential apoptosis
Abhilash Sasidharan, Parwathy Chandran, Deepthy Menon, Sreerekha Raman, Shantikumar Nair and Manzoor Koyakutty
Nanoscale, 2011
DOI: 10.1039/C1NR10272A


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