Nanoparticles designed to burrow into tumors and detonate lethal dose of anticancer toxins while sparing healthy cells.

An anticancer nanoparticle “smart bomb” has shown success in mice.

According to researchers at MIT, the nanoparticle—which they’re calling a “nanocell”—burrows into tumors, seals the exits and detonates a lethal dose of anticancer toxins while leaving healthy cells unscathed.

In mice, according to a report in the journal Nature, the nanocells proved effective and safe, prolonging survival from both melanoma and Lewis lung cancer.

The nanocell is “a balloon within a balloon, resembling an actual cell,” says Shiladitya Sengupta, a postdoctoral associate in the laboratory of research leader Ram Sasisekharan.

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