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 Getting closer to porous, light-responsive materials
26.07.2017 | Kyoto University

nachricht Multitasking monolayers
25.07.2017 | Vanderbilt University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property

26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion

26.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Large-Mouthed Fish Was Top Predator After Mass Extinction

26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>