Anticancer drugs sometimes have very harmful side effects because they do not distinguish between tumours and healthy tissue. However by encapsulating these drugs in nanoparticles, they more frequently end up in the right tissue. Due to the biodegradable nature of the nanoparticles, the drug is only released once the particles break down. The breakdown period can be adjusted by using different components for the nanostructures.
The nanoparticles consist of polyethylene glycol (PEG) chains which are attached to recently developed components: lactic acid derivatives of polymethacrylamides. These new chains possess the unique combined property of biodegradability and heat sensitivity. By simply heating up an aqueous polymer solution, compact spherical nanoparticles smaller than 100 nanometres are spontaneously formed. The properties and life span of Rijcken's so-called ' stabilised micelles' can be completely controlled by changing the components.
Experiments have shown that various types of fat-soluble anticancer drugs could be enclosed in the core of these micelles. The enclosed substances were only released after the lactic acid groups in the polymer had been split off, causing the nanoparticles to fall apart. The stabilised nanoballs accumulated to a larger extent in the tumours of tumour-carrying mice than traditional micelles. The new nanostructures exhibited no side effects and are completely biodegradable, whereas the current products with anticancer drugs often also contain other toxic ingredients.
Further research is needed to determine the blood circulation and tumour accumulation of drug-containing micelles. Additionally, the development of new components as building blocks for the nanoparticles will allow an even more accurate regulation of the specificity and drug release.
This research was funded by Technology Foundation STW.
Sonja Knols | alfa
A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
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,...
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...
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...
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...
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...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences