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 Discovery of a Key Regulatory Gene in Cardiac Valve Formation
24.05.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Carcinogenic soot particles from GDI engines
24.05.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

Information integration and artificial intelligence for better diagnosis and therapy decisions

24.05.2017 | Information Technology

CRTD receives 1.56 Mill. Euro BMBF-funding for retinal disease research

24.05.2017 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>