Product Spotlight

By Steve Barrett
Monday, May 1, 2017

Nanodiscs Get Personal with Cancer

The immune systems of mice can “remember” cancer cells and provide extended immunity, according to research involving technology that carries individualized vaccines to treat certain tumors.

University of Michigan researchers filled nanodiscs — tiny, synthetic lipoproteins — with tumor neoantigens. Those are mutations located in tumor cells.

“By generating T-cells that recognize these specific neoantigens, the technology targets cancer mutations and fights to eliminate cancer cells and prevent tumor growth,” the university stated in a news release. The nanodiscs were tested in mice with melanoma and colon cancer tumors.

“Combined with immune checkpoint inhibitors, an existing technology that amplifies T-cell tumor-fighting responses, the nanodisc technology killed tumors within 10 days of treatment in the majority of the mice,” the university noted. When the mice were injected with the same tumor cells 70 days later, “the tumors were rejected by the immune system and did not grow.”

Nature Materials published the study.

Wearable, Painless Glucose Monitoring

Rather than using drawn blood samples, PKvitality’s wearable trackers “taste” the skin to analyze important physiological markers, according to the French startup.

K’Track Glucose utilizes the company’s SkinTaste biosensor array, which has micro-needles that gather and analyze fluid from just under the skin’s surface. This array, called K’apsul, can be paired with bracelets, watches, armbands and similar items. The fluid collected by the biosensor contains glucose derived from the bloodstream.

Wearers press a button that activates the collection of a drop of fluid for analysis. Users feel faint pressure but no pain. That is because the needles are less than half a millimeter in length; nerves and blood vessels are generally at least 1 millimeter below the epidermis.

K’Track Glucose and K’Track Athlete, which monitors lactic acid, are awaiting regulatory approval.

The company says K’Track Glucose could enhance monitoring among the estimated 80 percent of people with diabetes who do not check their glucose frequently enough.

An Advance in Lesion-marking Ink

A newly developed ink may offer clinical and cosmetic advantages over those utilized in conventional tattoos that track certain skin cancers.

Frequently, physicians apply small tattoos close to skin cancer lesions slated for additional treatment. However, the ink can endure long after it has outlived its usefulness. Moreover, it can lead to inflammation, and it can eventually be mistaken for a lesion.

UCLA researchers may have devised a solution for those challenges. An ink they have developed washes away over time in order to avoid confusion, Medgadget reports. In addition, only light of a particular wavelength — 465 nanometers — makes the ink visible, according to studies in lab mice. The ink also did not lead to nearby inflammation, scientists found.

The research appears in ACS Nano.