Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stealth effect of nanocarriers for drug delivery vehicles conferred more efficiently

16.02.2016

Scientists of the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) decipher stealth effect of nanocarriers evading clearance by the immune system.

By using drug delivery vehicles, so-called nanocarriers, pharmaceuticals reach the diseased area in the body. There they accelerate the healing process. But in order to prevent them from getting ingested by phagocytes, the surfaces of the nanocarriers are typically coated with the biocompatible synthetic polymer poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG).


Nanocarriers (yellow) are coated with a complex multitude of proteins before they interact with cell membranes and are adhered.

© MPI-P

Scientists at the Mainz University Medical Center and the MPI-P have now identified that specific proteins need to adhere to the PEG and that the polymer recruits them from the blood. Based on this discovery, published in the February issue of Nature Nanotechnology, nanocarriers as drug delivery vehicles can be protected from the immune system’s macrophages more effectively.

The researchers have also been able to apply their findings to other polymers, so-called polyphosphates. Contrary to PEG, these are fully biodegradable and therefore potential candidates for drug carriers in the long-term treatment of chronic diseases.

Polymers recruit specific proteins from the blood for the stealth effect

The ability of PEG to extend the blood circulation periods of nanocarriers and other substances is already known in medicine. However, it has been explained by the fact that PEG causes a reduced protein adsorption on nanocarrier surfaces. The work of Dr. Frederik Wurm and Prof. Dr. Katharina Landfester from the MPI-P as well as of Univ.-Prof. Dr. Volker Mailänder form the Mainz University Medical Center brings about a paradigm shift in this kind of surface modification:

Together with their colleagues, the scientists have shown that it is not a reduced uptake of proteins, but rather a specific adsorption of certain proteins from the blood plasma which is responsible for the stealth effect. Consequently, it is not PEG, but the adsorption of, first and foremost, apolipoprotein J, also named clusterin, that cloaks the nanocarriers. Through the selective adsorption of clusterin the camouflaging of the nanocarriers is made possible so that they can reach their respective destinations in the body.

The physicians and life science researchers altered different nanocarriers and conducted comparative studies with adhering proteins. “Using high-resolution mass spectrometry, we were able to analyze precisely the complex mixture of the blood plasma, the proteins that adhere to the nanocarriers and their components,” Mailänder explains.

“Thanks to these findings, we could also establish a new polymer class as an alternative to PEG: polyphosphate is degradable, while the currently used PEG may accumulate in the body and cause intolerances when taken over a period of several years,” Wurm points out.

“This insight also provides the possibility to dispense with artificial materials completely using naturally occurring proteins for the stealth effect.” Landfester adds: “Mainz provides a unique location for such a research project as it combines polymeric synthesis, colloid chemistry and biomedicine providing an ideal starting point.” “Nanocarriers play an important role in the therapeutical treatment. The new findings of Dr. Mailänder and Dr. Wurm are milestones in this field”, says the Chief Scientific Officer of the Mainz University Medical Center.

Agents reach their destination efficiently

These results will significantly affect the development of new drugs and the treatment of diseased tissues, such as tumors. As an example, the total dose of a drug can be reduced while simultaneously prolonging its blood half-life. This is vital for therapies with rich side effects, as in the chemotherapeutic tumor therapy.

About the project:
The project is funded by the Collaborative Research Center SFB 1066 “Nanodimensional polymer therapeutics for tumor therapy” of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and by the Research Center for Immunotherapy (FZI) of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz as well as by the “BiomaTiCS – Biomaterials, Tissues and Cells in Science”.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.mpip-mainz.mpg.de/stealth_effect_of_nanocarriers

Verena Hochrein | Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Embryonic development: How do limbs develop from cells?
18.05.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

nachricht Reading histone modifications, an oncoprotein is modified in return
18.05.2018 | American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>