Special nanoparticles for cancer therapy! Will you help?

September 20, 2022

Developing a better treatment for patients with head and neck cancer is the goal of Binanox, the iGEM Leiden team 2022. With a crowdfunding, they hope to raise at least 10.000 euros for this.

More than 3.000 people are diagnosed with head and neck cancer each year in the Netherlands. Yet current treatments are often invasive and survival rates are not high at every stage. A new, promising treatment is photothermal therapy in which metal nanoparticles kill tumor cells.

During this treatment, a doctor injects the nanoparticles directly into the tumor, with or without the help of antibodies. The tumor is then exposed to a laser with Near Infrared (NIR) light. The nanoparticles can convert this light into heat, which kills tumor cells.

Chemical nanoparticles replaced by biological ones

Existing nanoparticles are chemically produced and not optimal for transferring heat to the tumor. Using proteins, the iGEM team is looking for a way to biologically produce these nanoparticles. Those proteins ensure that the nanoparticles have the perfect properties for this therapy. In the video, the students talk more about this/ the team explains more about this.


To develop this treatment, the team needs help. Therefore, iGEM is organizing a crowdfunding to raise the money for this. Would you also like to participate?

Want to know more?

Come to the evening lecture on Thursday, September 29, organized by the Natural Science Society of Leiden! In this lecture, the iGEM team will explain all about their project and there will be room for questions from the audience. The lecture can also be taken online.

Evening lecture: Producing nanoparticles for cancer therapy with Escherichia coli

iGEM Leiden

International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) is a competition where student teams from around the world use synthetic biology to solve a societal problem. More than 350 teams participate worldwide each year. In 2020, the former team from Leiden won the grand prize with their project ‘Rapidemic‘.

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