Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Liposome-hydrogel hybrids: No toil, no trouble for stronger bubbles

10.06.2010
People have been combining materials to bring forth the best properties of both ever since copper and tin were merged to start the Bronze Age.

In the latest successful merger, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the University of Maryland (UM) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have developed a method to combine two substances that individually have generated interest for their potential biomedical applications: a phospholipid membrane "bubble" called a liposome and particles of hydrogel, a water-filled network of polymer chains.

The combination forms a hybrid nanoscale (billionth of a meter) particle that may one day travel directly to specific cells such as tumors, pass easily though the target's cell membrane, and then slowly release a drug payload.

In a recent paper in the journal Langmuir*, the research team reviewed how liposomes and hydrogel nanoparticles have individual advantages and disadvantages for drug delivery. While liposomes have useful surface properties that allow them to target specific cells and pass through membranes, they can rupture if the surrounding environment changes. Hydrogel nanoparticles are more stable and possess controlled release capabilities to tune the dosage of a drug over time, but are prone to degradation and clumping. The researchers' goal was to engineer nanoparticles incorporating both components to utilize the strengths of each material while compensating for their weaknesses.

To manufacture their liposome-hydrogel hybrid vesicles, the researchers adapted a NIST-UM technique known as COMMAND for COntrolled Microfluidic Mixing And Nanoparticle Determination that uses a microscopic fluidic (microfluidic) device (see "NIST, Maryland Researchers COMMAND a Better Class of Liposomes" in NIST Tech Beat, April 27, 2010). In the new work, phospholipid molecules are dissolved in isopropyl alcohol and fed via a tiny (21 micrometers in diameter, or three times the size of a yeast cell) inlet channel into a "mixer" channel, then "focused" into a fluid jet by a water-based solution added through two side channels. Hydrogel precursor molecules are mixed in with the focusing fluid.

As the components blend together at the interfaces of the fluid streams, the phospholipid molecules self-assemble into nanoscale vesicles of controlled size and trap the monomers in solution inside. The newly formed vesicles then are irradiated with ultraviolet light to polymerize the hydrogel precursors they carry into a solid gel made up of cross-linked chains. These chains give strength to the vesicles while permitting them to retain the spherical shape of the liposome envelope (which, in turn, would facilitate passage through a cell membrane).

To turn the liposome-hydrogel hybrid vesicles into cellular delivery vehicles, a drug or other cargo would be added to the focusing fluid during production.

* J.S. Hong, S.M. Stavis, S.H. DePaoli Lacerda, L.E. Locascio, S.R. Raghavan and M. Gaitan. Microfluidic directed self-assembly of liposome-hydrogel hybrid nanoparticles. Langmuir, published online April 29, 2010.

Michael E. Newman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nist.gov

Further reports about: Hydrogel Liposome-hydrogel NIST microfluidic

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

nachricht Study overturns seminal research about the developing nervous system
21.04.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

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...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

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...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

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...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>