Jena scientists have been successful in producing highly specific nanoparticles. Depending on the bound dye the particles are guided to the liver or to the kidney and deliver their payload of active ingredients directly to the targeted tissue. Moreover, the dyes enable the tracking of the transport processes by intravital microscopy or, in a non-invasive way, by multi spectral optoacoustic tomography. The reduction of cholesterol production induced by siRNA served as the proof-of-principle for the developed method. The scientists report their data in the new edition of the scientific journal “Nature Communications”.
They are one of the great hopes for target-oriented treatment approaches: the so-called small interfering RNA-molecules, siRNA. These are able to mute specific genes, by preventing them from producing proteins which are encoded on them.
Jena scientists have been successful in producing highly specific nanoparticles delivering their payload directly to the liver or to the kidney depending on the dye, which is bound to the particle.
Photo: Jan-Peter Kasper/FSU Jena
To accomplish this, the siRNA has to be delivered specifically into the targeted cells in order to work only there and nowhere else. Moreover, the siRNA should not be just excreted or, even worse, damage healthy tissue. This is what makes the handling of siRNA extremely difficult.
Physicians and chemists from Jena, Munich (both Germany) and the USA have now succeeded in producing nano-transporters for this genetic material which are able to specifically and efficiently target selected cell types and release their active payload there.
Fluorescent dyes are both address labels and tracking numbers all in one
The particles which are based on polymers are marked with near infrared fluorescent dyes and loaded with siRNA. The dyes work like address labels and tracking numbers for the particles all in one. “Depending on the chemical structure of the dye the particles are filtered out of the blood either via the kidney tissue or via liver cells. At the same time this route can easily be tracked by optical methods with the aid of the dyes,” describes intensive care physician Prof. Dr. Michael Bauer.
His research team at the Jena Hospital Centre for Sepsis Control and Care (CSCC), which is supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, was also able to show that the dye is specifically absorbed by a specific cellular transporter of the liver epithelial cells and taken up into the cells.
Toolbox for nanomedicine
In this way the siRNA load is exclusively released in the target cells. The specifically functionalized nano-containers have been designed and produced in the laboratories of the Jena Center for Soft Matter (JCSM) of the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. “This method can be regarded as a kind of toolbox for a multitude of different siRNA-nanotransporters which can ensure the targeted ,switch–off’ of specific protein biosynthesis in different cell types,” the Director of the JCSM, Prof. Dr. Ulrich S. Schubert, states.
With the possibility to test the non-coupled dyes in advance and to switch off genes which are associated with illnesses, the principle offers new approaches to a personalized therapy of various diseases. In the newly founded SmartDyeLivery GmbH, the Jena scientists want to further develop the technology to put it into practical use in the clinical environment, especially in cases of acute septic infections.
The Jena nanomedicine researchers explain in their study the working principle of their toolbox using the example of cholesterol production. They loaded the nanoparticles with targeting dyes attached with siRNA-molecules. The siRNA molecules interfered with cholesterol production in hepatocytes, which resulted a clear reduction in the cholesterol level in the blood of test animals. The study is now published in the scientific journal “Nature Communications“.
A. T. Press, A. Traeger, C. Pietsch, A. Mosig, M. Wagner, M. G. Clemens, N. Jbeily, N. Koch, M. Gottschaldt, N. Bézière, V. Ermolayev, V. Ntziachristos, J. Popp, M. Kessels, B. Qualmann, U. S. Schubert, M. Bauer: "Cell type-specific delivery of short interfering RNAs by dye-functionalized “theranostic” nanoparticles", Nat. Commun. 2014, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6565
Prof. Dr. Michael Bauer
Center for Sepsis Control and Care (CSCC), University Hospital Jena
Phone: +0049 (0)3641 9323111
Prof. Dr. Ulrich S. Schubert
Jena Center for Soft Matter (JCSM), Friedrich Schiller University in Jena
Phone: +0049 (0)3641 948200
Dr. Uta von der Gönna | Universitätsklinikum Jena
Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses
24.04.2017 | Indiana University
Two-dimensional melting of hard spheres experimentally unravelled after 60 years
24.04.2017 | University of Oxford
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.04.2017 | Life Sciences