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The research of Nelson Mandela University student Itumeleng Zosela introduces an innovative treatment, namely nanoparticles, which are only toxic to cancer cells and not normal cells. The treatments currently available have severe side effects, damaging normal cells and not only the colon cancer cells.

Itumeleng will be graduating at the University’s Graduation on 14 December with her MSc in Nanoscience Cum Laude on the topic In vitro evaluation of bridelia ferruginea extract gold nanoparticles for the treatment of colon cancer.

Human Physiology’s Prof Saartjie Roux was her supervisor and Prof Hajierah Davids the co-supervisor.

She is already registered for her PhD in Physiology focusing on Nanoscience, testing the same nanoparticles on human tumour cells as well as on an animal model to see if they will have the same effects. 

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions Itumeleng had to change her project as she received most of her orders for reagents months later than expected.

“It was a very stressful time in my life and I even experienced a panic attack, something I’ve never suffered from before. But despite all these challenges I still managed a Cum Laude and I am super proud of myself because I managed to pull through the difficult times and I didn’t give up," she says.

“I am looking forward to the graduation ceremony because I feel that we all deserve to celebrate these achievements, 2020 was a very stressful year,” Itumeleng says.

She grew up in Alice in the Eastern Cape and obtained her BSc Microbiology at the University of Pretoria and her BSc (Hons) Medical Biosciences at the University of the Western Cape.

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160