Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Apothecary Cabinet under the Skin

19.02.2016

New method enables storage and controlled release of pharmaceutical substances in the body

Thanks to an invention by Freiburg scientists, it is now possible to dispense precise dosages of drugs locally in the body. A junior research group from the University of Freiburg’s Cluster of Excellence BrainLinks–BrainTools led by Dr. Maria Asplund and her doctoral candidate Christian Böhler has provided the foundations for a new molecular storage method that could find its way into clinical practice in the foreseeable future.


The storage layer (marked green) can be used to store drugs; the surface layer (marked blue) enables their release in controlled dosages.

Source: Christian Böhler/University of Freiburg

The microsystems engineers, electrical engineers, and materials scientists have succeeded in creating a compound of organic and inorganic materials that is particularly well suited for the compact storage of pharmacologically active substances. The study was conducted in cooperation with a team from the Laboratory for Nanotechnology under Prof. Dr. Margit Zacharias from the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) of the University of Freiburg and was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The starting point for producing the storage system was the conversion of a synthetic material from a liquid to a solid state. The researchers succeeded for the first time ever in using so-called atomic layer deposition for a process of this kind. This technique involves applying gases to a synthetic material. The gases penetrate into the molecular structure of the material and strengthen it from the inside.

The team used the polymer polyethylene glycol as the starting material. It reacts with zinc oxide in the deposition process to form an organic–inorganic hybrid compound whose molecular structure is suitable for storing drugs or other similar substances. An additional advantage of this material is the fact that it is water-soluble.

This makes it suitable for use as a drug carrier, since it is easy to release the substances stored in it again. For dispensing the doses precisely, for example for transport into the bloodstream, the polymer PEDOT is required. This is one of the main emphases of Asplund’s group: “Stated in simplified terms, the polymer works like a net with holes that open when a negative charge is applied and close when a positive charge is applied. This allows the molecules to be released in controlled dosages,” explains Böhler. It is enough to apply two thin films of the polymer to the surface of the hybrid material to ensure that the storage system is sufficiently stable and can precisely control the release of the stored substances.

The team from IMTEK developed a novel technology to improve the storage system: Similar systems produced previously were comparatively less compact, had a smaller storage volume, could not store molecules with different charges, and sometimes caused unintended chemical reactions. The researchers at IMTEK demonstrated in experiments with the substance fluorescein that the multilayered system exhibits ideal properties for dispensing precise doses of a broad spectrum of related molecules at a particular point over a particular period of time. In future experiments, the group aims to determine whether several different molecules can be stored at the same time or in neighboring chambers.

The technology would be particularly useful for so-called lab-on-a-chip methods, which involve the exchange and analysis of substances in a very small space. It could also be used in cancer treatment, for instance to release drugs directly onto a tumor from a reservoir under the skin. Researchers at IMTEK have already conducted tests on cell cultures indicating that the human body would be capable of accommodating an implant of this kind without complications.

Original publication:
C. Böhler, F. Güder, U. M. Kücükbayrak, M. Zacharias & M. Asplund (2016): A Simple Approach for Molecular Controlled Release based on Atomic Layer Deposition Hybridized Organic-Inorganic Layers, In: Scientific Reports 6, pp. 1–11. http://www.nature.com/articles/srep19574

Contact:
Christian Böhler
BioEPIC Junior Research Group
Laboratory for Biomedical Microtechnology
Department of Microsystems Engineering – IMTEK
University of Freiburg
Phone: +49 (0)761/203-67375
E-Mail: christian.boehler@imtek.de

Levin Sottru
Science Communicator
Cluster of Excellence BrainLinks–BrainTools
University of Freiburg
Phone: +49 (0)761/203-67721
E-Mail: sottru@blbt.uni-freiburg.de

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.pr.uni-freiburg.de/pm/2016/pm.2016-02-19.22-en

Rudolf-Werner Dreier | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

Further reports about: IMTEK drugs molecular structure storage system synthetic synthetic material

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
21.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

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

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>