Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Two-in-one packaging may increase drug efficacy and reduce side effects

12.01.2016

Researchers have developed a speedy, controllable way to get two or more ingredients into the same tiny capsule and only have them mix when triggered by a signal like vibrations or heat

Chemotherapy often comes with powerful side effects, and one of the reasons for this is that the drugs used to kill cancer cells can also damage other fast-growing cells in the body, like hair follicles. But one possibility for reducing these side effects may be if the chemotherapy drugs only become toxic when they reach the tumor.


A new device creates tiny capsules filled with multiple inner droplets by funneling different ingredients through two inner needles. As all the ingredients exit the needles through a single nozzle, a high-speed gas forces the liquids into a narrow stream that breaks up into individual droplets.

Credit: Ronald Xu/The Ohio State University

The search for such targeted drug delivery options for chemotherapy and other treatments inspired a team of researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China and The Ohio State University to develop a new way to package two or more ingredients into a single capsule. If the ingredients must be mixed for the drug to work, doctors could trigger the mixing in targeted area of the body, boosting drug efficiency while reducing side effects.

The researchers report their method for multi-ingredient encapsulation and triggered mixing in a new paper in the journal Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing.

... more about:
»Applied Physics »Chemotherapy »droplets »drugs

While the work has shown promise because it allows the researcher to produce micro capsules, they have not yet used the technique to encapsulate cancer treatments. If such capsules can be made, they will have to prove safe and effective in clinical trials before becoming widely available to treat cancer.

"One of the limitations of chemotherapy is that less than 5 percent of the drugs typically get to the tumor, while the rest can be absorbed by other organs," said Ronald Xu, a professor in biomedical engineering at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. One possible way to address the problem could be to make the drugs non-toxic when injected into the body and trigger mixing that would produce a toxic product only near the tumor site.

For such drugs to work on a large scale, there must be a way to quickly, controllably, and cost-effectively produce capsules with two or more active ingredients. If the drugs are to be injected and spread through the body via the bloodstream, the capsules should also be small.

Xu and his colleagues from the University of Science and Technology of China developed a device that can produce tiny capsules approximately 100 microns across (about the size of a speck of dust) with multiple inner ingredients. Ting Si, the first author on the paper and an expert in fluid mechanics, also developed mathematical models that show the relationship between process parameters, like flow rate and needle diameter, and the size of the final capsules. The models were used to achieve the designated capsule sizes.

The device works by funneling different ingredients through two inner needles. The inner needles run parallel to each other and are both enclosed in a larger outer needle, which contains an ingredient for making the outer shell of the capsule. As all the ingredients exit the needles through a single nozzle, a high-speed gas forces the liquids into a narrow stream that breaks up into individual droplets.

An electric field stabilizes the flow so that uniform droplets are created. Depending on the relative flow rates, each droplet may contain two or more smaller inner droplets made from the ingredients in the inner needles.

The researchers tested their device with colored paraffin wax - red in one needle and blue in the other. The outer shell was made from sodium alginate - a material extracted from seaweed that turned gelatinous when the droplets fell into a calcium chloride solution.

Depending on the experimental conditions, the team was able to produce between 1,000 to 100,000 capsules per second, and nearly 100 percent of the inner liquids were incorporated into the capsules without any waste. Once encapsulated, the two colors of wax did not mix, because of surface tension, but the team demonstrated that they could force the red and blue wax to merge by vibrating the capsules. The team also demonstrated that they could release the inner droplets by dissolving the outer shell.

The key features of the new device are its high efficiency and yield, and the fact that the size of the droplets can be uniformly controlled, Xu said. By further fine-tuning the device's operation Xu predicts that the team could make capsules that are 3-5 microns across, about the size of a red blood cell. The process can also be easily scaled up by building an array of nozzles and could be modified to encapsulate 3 or more active ingredients by adding additional inner needles.

While Xu and his colleagues were motivated by drug delivery, their device might also find wider use in a range of applications that require controlled reactions, such as regenerative medicine, and nuclear and chemical engineering, Xu said.

###

The article, "Steady cone-jet mode in compound-fluidic electro-flow focusing for fabricating multicompartment microcapsules," is authored by Ting Si, Chuansheng Yin, Peng Gao, Guangbin Li, Hang Ding, Xiaoming He, Bin Xie and Ronald X. Xu. It will be published in the journal Applied Physics Letters on January 11, 2016 (DOI:10.1063/1.4939632). After that date, it can be accessed at: http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/journal/apl/108/2/10.1063/1.4939632

The authors of this paper are affiliated with the University of Science and Technology of China and The Ohio State University.

ABOUT THE JOURNAL

Applied Physics Letters features concise, rapid reports on significant new findings in applied physics. The journal covers new experimental and theoretical research on applications of physics phenomena related to all branches of science, engineering, and modern technology. See: http://apl.aip.org

Jason Socrates Bardi | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: Applied Physics Chemotherapy droplets drugs

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Chains of nanogold – forged with atomic precision
23.09.2016 | Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland)

nachricht Self-assembled nanostructures hit their target
23.09.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

Im Focus: Launch of New Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing

At AKL’16, the International Laser Technology Congress held in May this year, interest in the topic of process control was greater than expected. Appropriately, the event was also used to launch the Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing. The group provides a forum for representatives from industry and research to initiate pre-competitive projects and discuss issues such as standards, potential cost savings and feasibility.

In the age of industry 4.0, laser technology is firmly established within manufacturing. A wide variety of laser techniques – from USP ablation and additive...

Im Focus: New laser joining technologies at ‘K 2016’ trade fair

Every three years, the plastics industry gathers at K, the international trade fair for plastics and rubber in Düsseldorf. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will also be attending again and presenting many innovative technologies, such as for joining plastics and metals using ultrashort pulse lasers. From October 19 to 26, you can find the Fraunhofer ILT at the joint Fraunhofer booth SC01 in Hall 7.

K is the world’s largest trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry. As in previous years, the organizers are expecting 3,000 exhibitors and more than...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Experts from industry and academia discuss the future mobile telecommunications standard 5G

23.09.2016 | Event News

ICPE in Graz for the seventh time

20.09.2016 | Event News

Using mathematical models to understand our brain

16.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Custom-tailored strategy against glioblastomas

26.09.2016 | Health and Medicine

Cooling buildings with solar heat

26.09.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Chains of nanogold – forged with atomic precision

23.09.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>