Researchers’ light technology slows division of cancer cells

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Researchers’ light technology slows division of cancer cells

A local research group developed the world’s first technology to trap proteins and slow down the division of cancer cells without chemicals or genetic modification.

The process requires 10 minutes of exposure to visible blue light from an LED lamp, which deters protein synthesis and development of the cancer cells, said team leader Heo Won-do, a biological science professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Kaist).

Heo said that when carried out in conjunction with cancer treatment, the technology allows only a certain area to be treated for a short period of time with almost no side effects. After injecting the light-induced proteins into cancer cells in the body, the light inhibits microtubules, which help chromosome activity, thus eventually stopping cell division.

The research was conducted at the state-run Institute for Basic Science, and the institute has applied for a patent for the technology at the Patent Cooperation Treaty, an international integrated patent system recognized in 148 countries.

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