Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Capsules Encapsulated

19.05.2009
Enzyme-equipped liposomes embedded in polymer capsules as a novel biomedical transport system

When cells cannot carry out the tasks required of them by our bodies, the result is disease.

Nanobiotechnology researchers are looking for ways to allow synthetic systems take over simple cellular activities when they are absent from the cell. This requires transport systems that can encapsulate medications and other substances and release them in a controlled fashion at the right moment. The transporter must be able to interact with the surroundings in order to receive the signal to unload its cargo.

A team led by Frank Caruso at the University of Melbourne has now developed a microcontainer that can hold thousands of individual “carrier units”—a “capsosome”. As they report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, these are polymer capsules in which liposomes have been embedded to form subcompartments.

Currently, the primary type of nanotransporter used for drugs is the capsule: Polymer capsules form stable containers that are semipermeable, which allows for communication with the surrounding medium. However, these are not suitable for the transport of small molecules because they can escape. Liposomes are good at protecting small drug molecules; however, they are often unstable and impermeable to substances from the environment. The Australian researchers have now combined the advantages of both systems in their capsosomes.

Capsosomes are produced by several steps. First, a layer of polymer is deposited onto small silica spheres. This polymer contains building blocks modified with cholesterol. Liposomes that have been loaded with an enzyme can be securely anchored to the cholesterol units and thus attached to the polymer film. Subsequently, more polymer layers are added and then cross-linked by disulfide bridges into a gel by means of a specially developed, very gentle cross-linking reaction. In the final step, the silica core is etched away without damaging the sensitive cargo.

Experiments with an enzyme as model cargo demonstrated that the liposomes remain intact and the cargo does not escape. Addition of a detergent releases the enzyme in a functional state. By means of the enzymatic reaction, which causes a color change of the solution, it was possible to determine the number of liposome compartments to be about 8000 per polymer capsule.

“Because the capsosomes are biodegradable and nontoxic”, says Brigitte Staedler, a senior researcher in the group, “they would also be suitable for use as resorbable synthetic cell organelles and for the transport of drugs.” In addition, the scientists are planning to encapsulate liposomes filled with different enzymes together and to equip them with specific “receivers” which would allow the individual cargo to be released in a targeted fashion. This would make it possible to use enzymatic reaction cascades for catalytic reaction processes.

Author: Frank Caruso, University of Melbourne (Australia), http://www.chemeng.unimelb.edu.au/people/staff/caruso.html

Title: A Microreactor with Thousands of Subcompartments: Enzyme-Loaded Liposomes within Polymer Capsules

Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2009, 48, No. 24, 4359–4362, doi: 10.1002/anie.200900386

Frank Caruso | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org
http://www.chemeng.unimelb.edu.au/people/staff/caruso.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>