Health

Scientists Have Created Worms That Can Kill Cancer Cells

Target Cancer Cells

The researchers created sheaths that could hold anti-cancer drugs. This enabled the worms to be protected yet unhindered by their hydrogel armor, allowing them to transport the drugs and destroy cancer cells in vitro.

Osaka University researchers discovered that worms may be coated with hydrogel sheaths that contain useful cargo such as anti-cancer medications

James Bond’s famed quartermaster Q provided the secret agent with an unlimited supply of equipment and gadgets to aid him on his missions. Now, scientists from Japan have shown that they are equally adept in providing microscopic worms with a surprising variety of useful and protective components.

Researchers from Osaka University have discovered that microscopic, free-living worms known as nematodes may be coated with hydrogel-based “sheaths” that can be further customized to transport functional cargo.

Nematodes are tiny, free-living worms that normally inhabit soil or other environmental niches and, under certain circumstances, may enter the human body. Anisakis simplex, a marine-dwelling nematode that may colonize humans when consumed, has shown an odd liking for cancer cells.

Naked Anisakis simplex and Anisakis simplex coated with hydrogel sheath containing fluorescence dye. Credit: Shinji Sakai

Anisakis simplex has been reported to sense cancer, potentially by detecting cancer “odor,” and to attach to cancerous tissues,” says Wildan Mubarok, first author of the study. “This led us to ask whether it could be used to deliver anti-cancer treatments directly to cancer cells within the human body.”

To investigate this possibility, the researchers first developed a system for applying hydrogel sheaths to nematodes by dipping them in a series of solutions containing chemicals that bind together to create a gel-like layer all over their surface. This process essentially custom-fits a suit about 0.01 mm thick to the worm in about 20 minutes.

“The results were very clear,” says Shinji Sakai, senior author of the study. “The sheaths did not in any way interfere with the worms’ survival and were flexible enough to maintain the worms’ motility and natural ability to seek out attractive smells and chemical signals.”

Next, the researchers loaded the sheaths with functional molecules and found that this protected the worms from ultraviolet light or hydrogen peroxide. What’s more, the sheaths could be loaded with anti-cancer agents that the nematodes, protected but unimpeded by their hydrogel armor, could transport and deliver to kill cancer cells in vitro.

“Our findings suggest that nematodes could potentially be used to deliver functional cargo to a range of specific targets in the future,” states Mubarok. Given the adaptability of the hydrogel sheaths, this worm-based delivery system holds promise not only for delivering anti-cancer drugs to tumor cells in patients, but it also has potential applications in other fields such as delivering beneficial bacteria to plant roots.

Reference: “Nematode surface functionalization with hydrogel sheaths tailored in situ” by Wildan Mubarok, Masaki Nakahata, Masaru Kojima and Shinji Sakai, 16 June 2022, Materials Today Bio.
DOI: 10.1016/j.mtbio.2022.100328

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  • You had cancer, but if you end up with worms that's curable! Kind of 1840s, but kind of way better!

  • One discovery after another...maybe the cure is around the next corner. Sure sounds like it.

  • This is so disturbing. Ultraviolet light and peroxide are used in sanitizing environments and indoor air. They both help with mold remediation and are the most safe options for these uses. Ultraviolet light is being used in clearing out SARS-Cov2 from indoor environments.

    The potential for these bugs to pick up and carry such contaminants in that -now sanitation proof- coating is a real risk. Creating parasites that are resistant to sanitation is creating a new problem that had not previously existed. I question the intentions of those directing these scientists.

    In other headlines they are stating that 'outdoors' may not be as safe as they were previously for reducing avoiding infection risk. Hmmm...

  • I have them in me by the billion from 2018 RNA drug I tried to warn people abut the jab the swabs to had hydtogel just today scathing head constant wiggling I shed the too in face also I have itherb things fibers white ones that pop out skin I I go near it disturbs it it just pop out I NEP it off and pop out as quick as I can do it they made with stem cells so you cut them in peaces it regrow it permanent and is not to help the paitant with heath but has code for self ensemble nano tech the also reproduce jabbed and seabed need to seriously look into this 90 percrnt of dad in morg when inbarmed the vein don't drain in leg or neck and back pressure a fiber the length of leg and up near hart fork's of into difrent parts growing till your bliid is blocked and you dead this worry me Dr I shown videos etc pictures of it all chips many types and cubez have in every skin flake so imagine. How many I must have look on rumble bubsleeds is the name look at my vides all about this those at university seriously need to get some empthy for others and an ethics board before fulling people up with new ideas 90 percent and the fiber in veins has chips just like me growing and soon the jabbed will see loved ones them shelf come to this tech sold as a cure but really it a poisiin to kill and use real time servalence system that can kill just sending a pulse or emf and no Dr will admit this tech in you because they can't face the truth so rather put you in syco hospital and get you forced jab syco meds in arse than admit the truth right in front of there eyes

  • RE: Chris Leeds: It's called "English" and "Punctuation", or in other words: WTF ARE YOU RAMBLING ABOUT??

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Osaka University

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