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Researchers Use Synchrotron To Understand Better Structure Of Cancer Cells

Researchers at the University of Surrey have developed a special particle accelerator facility known as synchrotron to know better the structure of cancer cells. With help from the synchrotron at Diamond Light Source in Oxfordshire, the research team was able to conduct detailed study of the characteristics of cell structures at nano level and even at an atomic scale. This would let them know how the cells and materials interact with each other.

In order to improve cancer screening and treatment, researchers always require accurate models of cancers tissues to experiment upon. Earlier research has made tremendous progress in creating specific and novel 3D models, which had the same feature of a pancreatic tumor like structure, porosity and protein composition.

With these latest findings, researchers have found out a way to better the mechanical characterization and testing of the 3D models, which can help bring about a better understanding of how the cancer cells interact with each other and with protein matrices at nanoscale. Once the researchers can make sure that the 3D structures and mechanical performances in laboratory test conditions can replace the making and mechanical performance in cancer tissue, it will prove to be quite helpful with the treatment of cancer.

If researchers plan to improve cancer screening facilities and treatment then they require precise models of cancer tissues to experiment upon. Earlier researchers had done a good job in building accurate, novel 3D models which have all the characteristics of a tumor cell.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Tan Sui, Senior Lecturer in Materials Engineering, at the University said, "By providing better cell-material characterizations, we can shed more light on the way cells interact with each other. This nano-scale analysis could help researchers use nature to inspire better tissue engineered scaffolds, a key pathway to improving screening and treatment. There's still a lot of work to do before patients benefit, but we're inching forwards in the right direction."

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