Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Targeting drugs with hydrogels

02.11.2012
Researchers in Japan have developed a technique which allows them to control and target drug delivery to specific sites of the body at specific times, thus reducing side effects and improving treatment dramatically. The results were published recently in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials.

Better control over the delivery of drugs to specific sites in the body at specific times would reduce unwanted side effects and improve medical treatment dramatically. ‘Smart’ polymers are promising materials for controlling drug delivery, since they change their properties in response to specific stimuli.


A smart hydrogel-based time bomb triggers drug release mediated by pH-jump reaction

Copyright : Science and Technology of Advanced Materials

However, they usually require continuous stimulation to maintain these changes. Now, researchers led by Takao Aoyagi at the MANA, National Institute for Materials Science, Japan, have developed an approach that could allow more subtle control and timing of drug delivery.

The new technique uses hydrogels, which are a type of ‘smart’ polymer made of water-soluble long-chain molecules. The team first showed that they could control the acidity inside a hydrogel by loading it with a compound called o-NBA. This releases protons, which increases acidity, when irradiated with UV light. When o-NBA-loaded hydrogel was irradiated, acidity increased inside; if only part of the gel was irradiated, acidity throughout increased gradually as protons diffused.

Aoyagi and his colleagues then loaded hydrogel with o-NBA and L-DOPA, a precursor of the brain chemical dopamine that is used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The change of acidity in the gel upon UV irradiation caused L-DOPA to be released because the acidity disrupted the interaction of L-DOPA with the molecules in the gel.

Irradiation with UV not only enhanced overall L-DOPA release from the hydrogel, but also caused an extra ‘explosive’ release five hours after irradiation. This allowed the drug release to be timed, as well as triggered, in a controlled way.

Being able to control the release of drugs from hydrogels by triggering a change in acidity could help to design programmable drug delivery techniques that offer improved targeting of treatment.

Contact

Publisher
Mikiko Tanifuji
National Institute for Materials Science
Tsukuba, Japan
Tel. +81-(0)29-859-2494
Email: stam_office@nims.go.jp

Journal information
Prapatsorn Techawanitchai, Naokazu Idota, Koichiro Uto, Mitsuhiro Ebarab and Takao Aoyagi (2012) A smart hydrogel-based time bomb triggers drug release mediated by pH-jump reaction. Science and Technology of Advanced Materials Vol. 13 (2012) p. 064202.

Mikiko Tanifuji | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.nims.go.jp
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht A new tool for discovering nanoporous materials
23.05.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

nachricht Did you know that packaging is becoming intelligent through flash systems?
23.05.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>