Measured in billionths of a meter, self-assembling nano-sized devices designed to carry drugs and imaging agents into the body are revolutionizing medicine by improving drug solubility and bio-distribution, providing a platform for combining targeting and imaging agents, and enabling membrane barriers to be crossed as well as making drug and imaging agent combination therapies possible.
Self-assembling nano devices are now enlisted in the nanomedicine revolution, a story as told by researchers from Duke University and the University of Southern California in an article in the current TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION, Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors ™. (http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/cog/ti/2011/00000013/00000001)
Their report covers two classes of self-assembled, nanoscale medical delivery devices currently used to transport drugs and also imaging materials across physiological barriers that they, acting by themselves, would be unable to cross.
"Nanoscale self-assembly devices are complex structures organized from simpler subcomponents - either naturally occurring or engineered - which assume complex structures difficult to attain by chemical synthesis," said the paper's corresponding author Dr. Ashutosh Chilkoti, professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University. "Their disassociation can be triggered by external stimuli, which serve as mechanisms to release therapeutic payloads."
According to Dr. Chilkoti and his co-authors, Dr. Mingan Chen and Jonathan R. McDaniel of the Duke University Department of Biomedical Engineering, as well as Dr. J. Andrew MacKay of the University of Southern California Department of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, many biological events rely on structures that self-assemble or disassemble based on environmental changes or physiological needs. Such natural self-assemblies used in nanomedicine rely on multiple weak forces, such as those associated with viral capsids and proteins.
Engineered self-assemblies used in nanomedicine come in over five groups of structural shapes, including the micellar nanostructure.
"We have recently developed a novel strategy that utilizes micelles self-assembled from recombinant polypeptides after attaching doxorubicin, a cancer drug, to deliver the drug," explained Dr. Chilkoti, who is also the director of the Duke University Center for Biologically Inspired Materials and Material Systems.
According to Dr. MacKay, a co-corresponding author of the report, the stability of micelles is important to their success or failure as drug delivery systems.
"The stability of micelles has thermodynamic and kinetic components," he said. "All factors that influence micellar stability can be tuned at the genetic level. Thus, we believe that genetically encoded polypeptide micelles are likely to play an increasing role in the design of next generation nanoscale carriers of drug and imaging agents."
In their report, the authors evaluate the structural and physiochemical properties, as well as the potential applications, of each type of structure.
The National Academy of Inventors ™ recognizes and encourages inventors who have a patent issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhances the visibility of university technology and academic innovation, encourages the disclosure of intellectual property, educates and mentors innovative students, and encourages the translation of the inventions of its members to benefit society.
The editorial offices of TECHNOLOGY and INNOVATION are located at the University of South Florida, Office of Research and Innovation, 3702 Spectrum Blvd., Suite 175, Tampa, Florida, 33612. Tel: (813) 974-3348. Email email@example.com
News Release by Randolph Fillmore, Florida Science Communications, www.sciencescribe.net
Randolph Fillmore | EurekAlert!
PET identifies which prostate cancer patients can benefit from salvage radiation treatment
05.12.2017 | Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Designing a golden nanopill
01.12.2017 | University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences
12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering