Thai researchers from a top university in Thailand are using empty palm fruit bunches for the targeted delivery of anti-cancer medicines to colon cancer patients. Researchers from Mahidol University’s Faculty of Engineering and the National Science and Technology Development Agency’s National Nanotechnology Centre developed the new method by innovating the synthesis of “fluorescent carbon dots” derived from empty palm fruit bunches.
The innovation and development of the fluorescent carbon particles were developed under the concept of nanotechnology, with the nanoparticles being used as material for the delivery of anticancer drugs to targeted cells.
The researchers told the Pattaya Mail that the delivery of the medicine will stop the growth of cancer cells and limit the area so that the drug can work in a specific area. Such a targeted treatment will reduce the effects on the surrounding tissue as well as the side effects of the treatment. The fluorescent carbon dots also have an average size of fewer than 10 nanometres, which allows them to easily move into the cells. The luminescent component of the particles will allow medical staff to provide more accurate follow-up treatments to patients.
The research team says they will soon test their new development on animals and humans. If successful, they say it will help increase the survival rate of colon cancer patients as well as the production of agricultural materials available in the country. Moreover, they say it will reduce the importation of expensive pharmaceutical products and promote the country as a medical hub.