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UNIGE – Medicines made of solid gold

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Medicines made of solid gold to help the immune system


By studying the effects of gold nanoparticles on the immune cells related to antibody production,  researchers at UNIGE, Swansea University and the NCCR “Bio-inspired Materials” are paving the way for more effective vaccines and therapies.

Over the past twenty years, the use of nanoparticles in medicine has steadily increased. However, their safety and effect on the human immune system remains an important concern. By testing a variety of gold nanoparticles, researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), in collaboration with the National Centre of Competence in Research “Bio-inspired Materials” and Swansea University Medical School (UK), are providing first evidence of their impact upon human B lymphocytes – the immune cells responsible for antibody production.

The use of these nanoparticles is expected to improve the efficacy of pharmaceutical products while limiting potential adverse effects. These results, published in the journal ACS Nano, will lead to the development of more targeted and better tolerated therapies, particularly in the field of oncology. The methodology developed makes it also possible to test the biocompatibility of any nanoparticle at an early stage in the development of a new nanodrug.


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