Scientists use the power of volcanoes to fight cancer

Scientists recreate volcanic properties to produce materials for cancer treatment

Scientists are using water to create zinc peroxide (Stock image)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Researchers in Finland have used the power of volcanoes to create anticancer materials.

Scientists at Aalto University simulated the chemistry of the deep ocean, specifically the effect of deep-water volcanoes on the water around them, to mass-produce a particle known as zinc peroxide.

Their study synthesised the effect of water hitting lava from a volcano, which is much hotter than its own boiling point. This produces a vaporous insulation layer which prevents the water from rapidly boiling, according to EurekAlert.

This process, known as the Leidenfrost Effect, in turn creates nanoclusters of zinc peroxide, a small particle that supplies oxygen. 

The scientists believe zinc peroxide could be manipulated in the treatment of cancer and other diseases , and could even kill tumours. 

By harnessing the Leidenfrost Effect, the scientists claim they can produce zinc peroxide in an eco-friendly way, without needing to use expensive or environmentally damaging materials.

The study has been published in Nature Communications, and you can see a video here.