University of Pennsylvania researchers have designed molecules bearing a segment of the membrane protein CD47, which tricks macrophages into allowing drug-bearing nanoparticles into blood cells, according to a study published in Science. The researchers designed a 21-amino-acid peptide based on the CD47 sequence and attached it to polystyrene nanobeads that also included a dye that can be identified using fluorescence spectroscopy. Tests on mice showed the nanobeads sneak past immune cells and accumulate in tumors. Researchers hope the technique can be improved to employ customized nanobeads.

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