Blood vessels are highways through the body. They can transport drugs to cancer cells, but finding the appropriate ramp to exit the vessel can be tricky.
This image shows a network of blood vessels (green) and collagen (purple) infused with gold nanorods (yellow) inside a living tumour. When researchers heat the particles with near-infrared light, the blood vessels become leaky, making it easier to deliver a therapeutic cargo to its final destination. Because blood vessels provide a universal transport system, such combination therapy has widespread implications for treatment, regardless of cancer type or specific drug needed.
Submitted by Alex Bagley, Jeff Wyckoff, Sangeeta Bhatia from MIT’s Bhatia Laboratory, this image was one of the 10 winning entries in the 2014 Koch Institute Image Awards.
The Koch Institute Image Awards were established to recognise and publicly display extraordinary visuals captured so that experts and non-scientists alike can glimpse otherwise invisible biological worlds.