Vibrating molecules treat 99% of cancer cells | Inquirer Technology

Vibrating molecules destroy 99% of cancer cells

08:00 AM January 09, 2024

Scientists discovered how to stimulate aminocyanine molecules to destroy cancer cell membranes. Laboratories have already used this substance as a bioimaging dye, but it gains this amazing feature thanks to near-infrared light. As a result, vibrating molecules could become an effective, non-invasive method for beating cancers. 

Most recognize surgery and chemotherapy as well-known cancer treatments. However, some patients can’t undergo these procedures for various reasons. Also, they may leave lasting negative consequences.

Perhaps these moving molecules could become a better option that can save more lives. This article will discuss how scientists manipulated molecules to eliminate most cancer cells without surgery. Later, I will elaborate on a similar vibrating healthcare technology, a vibrating pill that could help people lose weight.

How do these vibrating molecules work?

Illustration depicting the mechanism of vibrating molecules in action.

Shining near-infrared light on aminocyanine molecules causes them to vibrate in sync. Their moving electrons form plasmons that drive movement across the whole of the molecule.


Eventually, the movement will break and eliminate cancer cell membranes. Researchers tested them on cultured, lab-grown cancer cells, yielding a 99% hit rate in destroying cells.

They also tested the method on mice with melanoma tumors, and half became cancer-free. These researchers from Texas A&M University, Rice University, and the University of Texas say it significantly improves over another method called Feringa-type motors.

“It is a whole new generation of molecular machines that we call molecular jackhammers,” says chemist James Tour from Rice University. “They are more than one million times faster in their mechanical motion than the former Feringa-type motors, and they can be activated with near-infrared light rather than visible light.”

ScienceAlert says it is an important development that lets scientists delve deeper into the body. Vibrating molecules could treat bone and organ cancers without needing surgery.


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“What needs to be highlighted is that we’ve discovered another explanation for how these molecules can work,” says chemist Ciceron Ayala-Orozco from Rice University.


“This is the first time a molecular plasmon is utilized in this way to excite the whole molecule and to actually produce mechanical action used to achieve a particular goal, in this case, tearing apart cancer cells’ membrane.”

The researchers admit their new method requires more research and development before it becomes practical. Consequently, they explore its purposes, such as using other substances besides aminocyanine.

Other vibrating healthcare methods

Diverse healthcare methods utilizing vibrations for well-being.

Harvard and MIT researchers have developed another vibrating healthcare technology that tricks your stomach into thinking it’s full. They made a small capsule that contained a motor and a battery.

It contains a gel plug that dissolves in stomach fluid to activate the motor. Then, the motor will spin inside the gut for 38 minutes, the average time food stays there. 

The researchers tested it on pigs with weights and stomachs similar to humans. They discovered the pill stimulated the vagus nerve that links the stomach to the brain. 

It also alters insulin and ghrelin levels, the hormones related to hunger and satiety. The pigs that received the vibrating capsule ate roughly 40% less than the ones that did not.

On the other hand, the pill did not harm or discomfort these animals, and they did not show any diarrhea, inflammation, or vomiting. The researchers discovered animals excreted the vibrating pill after four days. 

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We might use it as a temporary appetite suppressant without surgery or implementation. However, the pill is not ready for human consumption. Researchers must address many challenges before the public can use it as a safe obesity treatment.

Tom Hildebrandt, an Icahn School of Medicine clinical psychologist, says he’s “hopeful but cynical” about it. Hildebrandt says we already use similar capsules to diagnose diseases, so it could likely be “low risk.” 

However, we don’t know how a vibrating pill in a human’s stomach will feel. “A pig can’t tell you how uncomfortable it is,” he says. Moreover, obese patients’ stomach nerve endings are less sensitive to stretching. That means we’re unsure whether the capsule would still be effective for them.


Scientists discovered a way to eliminate cancer cells with vibrating molecules. Aminocyanine molecules move synchronously to destroy 99% of these tumor cells. 

Soon, it could become a non-invasive and relatively safer way of beating cancer. However, it requires further study to become a practical method. 

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Learn more about these vibrating molecules by reading Nature Chemistry. Check out the latest digital tips and trends at Inquirer Tech.


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