Tea leaves may be key to stopping lung cancer from advancing.
More and more research has been focusing on the potential uses of nanoparticles for healthcare.
For instance, a recent study demonstrated that endometrial cancer can be targeted much more effectively if anti-cancer drugs are loaded into nanoparticles and delivered straight to the tumors.
Another study that we reported on used a similar approach to destroy cancer stem cells. And now, researchers are turning to a type of nanoparticle called “quantum dots” for help in the fight against cancer.
Scientists led by researcher Sudhagar Pitchaimuthu — a Ser Cymru-II Rising Star Fellow at Swansea University’s College of Engineering in the United Kingdom — have created quantum dots from tea leaf extract and used them to stop lung cancer cells from growing.
The findings were published in the journal Applied Nano Materials.
Up to 80 percent of cancer cells destroyed
Quantum dots are under 10 nanometers in diameter. They are usually created chemically, and they have already been used in computers and TV screens.
However, as Pitchaimuthu and team explain, this chemical production process is often complicated and costly, and it can have a range of adverse toxic effects. So, the researchers wanted to explore a plant-based, non-toxic production alternative.