Nanoparticles derived from tea leaves can destroy lung-cancer cells: Study
Nanoparticles derived from tea leaves can inhibit the growth of lung cancer cells, destroying up to 80% of them, a team of Indian and British scientists found in London. The study, published in journal Applied Nano Materials, outlines a non-toxic alternative method of producing a type of nanoparticle called quantum dots. Quantum dots can be produced chemically, which is expensive and has toxic side-effects.
Tea leaves contain various compounds
Sudhagar Pitchaimuthu from Swansea University in the UK, who led the study, said, "Tea leaves contain a wide variety of compounds, including polyphenols, amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants." The researchers mixed tea leaf extract with cadmium sulfate (CdSO4) and sodium sulfide (Na2S) and allowed the solution to incubate, a process which causes quantum dots to form. They then applied the dots to lung-cancer cells.
Quantum dots can be used to explore new cancer treatments
"The real surprise, however, was that the dots actively inhibited the growth of the lung cancer cells. We had not been expecting this," Pitchaimuthu said. The CdS quantum dots derived from tea leaf extract showed exceptional fluorescence emission in cancer cell bio-imaging compared to conventional CdS nanoparticles. Quantum dots are therefore a very promising avenue to explore for developing new cancer treatments, researchers said.