INST synthesises compound for anti-cancer use

INST synthesises compound for anti-cancer use

Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29

Scientists from the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST), Mohali, have synthesised a novel inorganic-organic hybrid compound that can inhibit breast, lung, and liver cancer cells, opening up new possibilities for metallodrugs. The drugs contain a metal as an active ingredient and are most commonly used as anti-cancer or anti-microbial agents.

A solid compound based on phosphomolybdate cluster, an inorganic salt belonging to the polyoxometalates (POM) family, had been earlier identified to have anti-tumor potential. A team of INST scientists, led by Dr Monika Singh and Dr Deepika Sharma, has chalked out a mechanism by which the compound kills cancer cells.

The POMs are an evolving class of inorganic metal oxides which have established promising biological activities over the last decade by the virtue of great diversity in structures and properties.

To probe into the mechanism of how the cancer cells are attacked by the compound, the team synthesised it by hydro-thermal method. An aqueous mixture of sodium molybdate, phosphorus acid and bipyridine was heated in an acetate buffer solution of pH4 at 160 degrees Celsius for 72 hours.

The compound’s cytotoxicity or the quality of being toxic to cells was determined on breast cancer, lung cancer and liver cancer cells by conventional colorometry. The observations were further compared with that of a routinely used chemotherapeutic agent.

The mechanism of cell death occurring in breast cancer, lung cancer and liver cancer cells were also evaluated and the effect of the synthesised materials on cell division was determined. The in-vitro results showed that the hybrid solid is less toxic towards normal cells and its anti-tumour activity was also found to be comparable with that of a routinely used chemo-therapeutic agent.

The POMs have evolved as a promising candidate for metallodrugs for combating cancer. The compound synthesised by the INST, can open up new avenues for anti-tumour applications.

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