Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tiny capsules deliver

14.01.2009
A tiny particle syringe composed of polymer layers and nanoparticles may provide drug delivery that targets diseased cells without harming the rest of the body, according to a team of chemical engineers. This delivery system could be robust and flexible enough to deliver a variety of substances.

"People probably fear the effects of some treatments more than they fear the disease they treat," says Huda A. Jerri, graduate student, chemical engineering. "The drugs are poison. Treatment is a matter of dosage so that it kills the cancer and not the patient. Targeted treatment becomes very important."

Newer approaches to drug delivery include particles that find specific cells, latch on and release their drugs. Another approach allows the cells to engulf the particles, taking them into the cell and releasing the drug. However, the requirements for these delivery systems are complicated and challenging to implement.

The Penn State researchers' approach produces a more universal delivery system, a tiny spherical container averaging less than 5 microns or the diameter of the smallest pollen grains.

The spheres are formed around solid microparticles that are either the drug to be delivered or a substance that can be removed later leaving a hollow sphere for liquid drugs. They reported their results online in Soft Matter.

Alternating positive and negative layers of material form the microcapsules. The capsules are created while attached to a flat surface so the section of the sphere touching the surface is not coated, leaving about 5 percent of the surface as an escape area for the drugs. The microcapsule, excluding the exit hole, is then covered in a slippery, non-stick barrier coating.

"These are not the first microcapsules for drug delivery developed, but a previous attempt had surfaces that stuck together and clumped," says Velegol. "We also designed the tiny hole in the sphere for controlled delivery and that is a new development."

Targeted drug delivery systems release their drug from the moment they enter the body. The microsyringes, however, while releasing material continuously, do so only from the tiny hole in their surface and not from the other 95 percent of the sphere's surface. This will concentrate the drug at the target and reduce the amount of toxins circulating in the body.

"These particles are delivery vessels to which you can add whatever you want when you need it," says Jerri. "Drugs can be either solid -- incorporated when the capsules are made -- or liquid -- filled later. Chemicals that target the diseased cells can be attached in a variety of ways."

To serve as viable, flexible drug delivery systems, these microcapsules should be off the shelf and not completely tailor made for each application. The researchers tested the robustness of the microsyringes by dehydrating and then reconstituting them. Their ability to withstand long periods dried out and then successfully rehydrate is important both for shelf life and because that is the way that liquid medications will be inserted in the microcapsules as needed.

To ensure that the spheres refill, the researchers used a solution containing fluorescent dyes. The filling and emptying of the microcapsules are controlled by the acidity of the liquid in which the tiny beads float. Successful rehydration and filling suggest that these microsyringes could be manufactured and stored until needed. They could then be filled with the appropriate drug and have the proper targeting agent attached to treat specific diseases and patients.

"The masking process used to manufacture these microcapsules is relatively inexpensive, current technology and is scalable," says Velegol. "This means they could be mass produced."

A'ndrea Elyse Messer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>