Hi Reddit! I’m Gang Zheng, Senior Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto, Canada. Our lab focused on creating clinically usable nanotechnology to combat cancer. Inspired by how plants use porphyrins to do photosynthesis, our colourful porphyrins self-assemble into biodegradable nanoparticles called “porphysomes”, which target cancer. Once they’re there, the now-coloured tumors can absorb laser light, heating and killing the tumor, and sparing healthy cells. But wait there’s more! We’ve also shown that these nanoparticles can be designed to do all sorts of medical imaging and therapeutics. We’ve used porphysomes for MRI, PET, fluorescence, photoacoustic imaging, ultrasound, photodynamic therapy, and drug delivery, all with a nanoparticle that, unlike others, can be metabolized by the body. Some have called porphysomes the “One particle to rule them all".
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