Research Highlight

Metallic saviour

doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.59 Published online 10 May 2010

A novel nano-sized metallic drug has shown promise in stifling the growth of cancer cells and in delivering drugs to specified targets.

Researchers have designed a copper-tin metallic complex and tested it on DNA of calf thymus and bacteria.

In the nano-complex, copper coordinated with a nitrogen atom of DNA base and tin bound to the oxygen in the sugar phosphate backbone of DNA. The shape of the particles is irregular but somewhat spherical. The nanoparticles are 20–30 nm in diameter. Particle size increased almost thrice when calf thymus DNA was condensed on it.

"This nano-complex is a potential DNA-targeted chemotherapeutic drug candidate for cancers, in particular metastatic cancers," says lead researcher Sartaj Tabassum from the Department of Chemistry, Aligarh Muslim University. DNA condensation technique can be used to carry a small DNA condensate particle as a vector to a specific gene target, he adds.


  1. Tabassum, S. et al. DNA interaction studies of new nano metal based anticancer agent: validation by spectroscopic methods. Nanotechnology 21, 195102 (2010) | Article | PubMed