An artificial virus has been used by Korean researchers to deliver genes and drugs into cancer cells.
Myongsoo Lee of Yonsei University says that the new strategy allows maintaining a defined form and size of the artificial viruses so that they could be easily controlled, something that is crucial to their effectiveness.
In a report published in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the researchers described the new approach as small interfering RNAs (siRNA).
They said that their method represented a promising approach to gene therapy.
The researchers also revealed that trials with a line of human cancer cells showed that the artificial viruses could very effectively transport an siRNA and block the target gene.
They also observed that even water repellent or hydrophobic molecules, such as a dye, could be attached to the artificial viruses.
During the course of study, the researchers were able to transport the dye into the nuclei of tumour cells, a result that attains significance because the nucleus is the target for many important anti-tumour agents.