Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Dissolvable fabric loaded with medicine might offer faster protection against HIV

31.07.2014

Soon, protection from HIV infection could be as simple as inserting a medicated, disappearing fabric minutes before having sex.

University of Washington bioengineers have discovered a potentially faster way to deliver a topical drug that protects women from contracting HIV. Their method spins the drug into silk-like fibers that quickly dissolve when in contact with moisture, releasing higher doses of the drug than possible with other topical materials such as gels or creams.


The UW’s dissolving fibers could be spun and placed within an applicator, similar to those used to insert a tampon. The inset image shows the quick-release fibers magnified 5,000 times.

“This could offer women a potentially more effective, discreet way to protect themselves from HIV infection by inserting the drug-loaded materials into the vagina before sex,” said Cameron Ball, a UW doctoral student in bioengineering and lead author on a paper in the August issue of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

The UW team, led by bioengineering assistant professor Kim Woodrow, previously found that electrically spun cloth could be dissolved to release drugs. These new results build upon that research, showing that the fiber materials can hold 10 times the concentration of medicine as anti-HIV gels currently under development.

Oral pills are used in the U.S. for people who are considered at risk for HIV infection, and topical medications in the form of gels and films are just starting to be developed. These products would be placed inside the vagina before sexual intercourse, allowing the drug to dissolve and diffuse into the surrounding tissue. Called microbicides, the drugs must be given as a large dose to be effective minutes before sex.

But these topical drugs haven’t done well in clinical trials, partly because they aren’t always easy for women to use. Drugs in film form take at least 15 minutes to fully dissolve in the body, and the volume of gels must be large enough to deliver a full dose but small enough to prevent leakage. These factors can make microbicides difficult for a woman to use before sex, researchers said.

“The effectiveness of an anti-HIV topical drug depends partially on high-enough dosages and quick release,” Ball said. “We have achieved higher drug loading in our material such that you wouldn’t need to insert a large amount of these fibers to deliver enough of the drug to be helpful.”

The UW team created the soft fibers using a process called electrospinning. They first dissolved a polymer and combined it with a drug, maraviroc, and other agents often used in pharmaceuticals that help a material become more water soluble and dissolve quicker. Maraviroc currently is used to treat symptoms of HIV for people who already have the virus.

The syrupy substance is then charged with a high-voltage generator and passed through a syringe. The electric charge on the substance’s surface causes it to form a long string from the syringe, where it whips around – or spins – before collecting on an electrically grounded surface. A palm-sized swatch of the fabric takes about five minutes to make.

Anti-HIV drugs such as maraviroc can take a while to dissolve, so the researchers looked at different ingredients for the fiber that would allow for the highest concentration of drug with the fastest-possible release in the body. Because the electrically spun fibers have a large surface area, researchers were able to create samples in which nearly 30 percent of the mass was composed of the drug itself. In topical gels, the drug makes up only about 3 percent of the total mass.

By adjusting the ingredients in the fibers, researchers were able to dissolve the drug in about six minutes, no matter how much drug mass was in the fiber.

The research team says the soft, dissolving fibers could be rolled into a cardboard tampon applicator for insertion or built into the shape of a vaginal ring, similar to those used for contraception. The material can accommodate different anti-HIV drugs and the team is testing several others for effectiveness.

“We think the fiber platform technology has the capability of being developed into multifunctional medical fabrics that address simultaneously challenges related to biological efficacy and user preferences,” Woodrow said.

Researchers are currently focused on developing prototypes based on user guidance that can be tested for safety and efficacy in animal models.

This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

###

For more information, contact Ball at cameron.s.ball@gmail.com and Woodrow at woodrow@uw.edu.

Grant numbers: NIH AI098648, NIH P41 EB-002027.

Michelle Ma | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.washington.edu/news/2014/07/30/dissolvable-fabric-loaded-with-medicine-might-offer-faster-protection-against-hiv/

Further reports about: HIV NIH anti-HIV deliver dissolve drugs effectiveness efficacy fabric fiber fibers mass materials

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Modeling NAFLD with human pluripotent stem cell derived immature hepatocyte like cells
30.06.2016 | Heinrich-Heine University Duesseldorf

nachricht Heat for wounds – water-filtered infrared-A (wIRA) assists wound healing
30.06.2016 | Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Wissenschaftlichen Medizinischen Fachgesellschaften

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Thousands on one chip: New Method to study Proteins

Since the completion of the human genome an important goal has been to elucidate the function of the now known proteins: a new molecular method enables the investigation of the function for thousands of proteins in parallel. Applying this new method, an international team of researchers with leading participation of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) was able to identify hundreds of previously unknown interactions among proteins.

The human genome and those of most common crops have been decoded for many years. Soon it will be possible to sequence your personal genome for less than 1000...

Im Focus: Optical lenses, hardly larger than a human hair

3D printing enables the smalles complex micro-objectives

3D printing revolutionized the manufacturing of complex shapes in the last few years. Using additive depositing of materials, where individual dots or lines...

Im Focus: Flexible OLED applications arrive

R2D2, a joint project to analyze and development high-TRL processes and technologies for manufacture of flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has been successfully completed.

In contrast to point light sources like LEDs made of inorganic semiconductor crystals, organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are light-emitting surfaces. Their...

Im Focus: Unexpected flexibility found in odorant molecules

High resolution rotational spectroscopy reveals an unprecedented number of conformations of an odorant molecule – a new world record!

In a recent publication in the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter...

Im Focus: 3-D printing produces cartilage from strands of bioink

Strands of cow cartilage substitute for ink in a 3D bioprinting process that may one day create cartilage patches for worn out joints, according to a team of engineers. "Our goal is to create tissue that can be used to replace large amounts of worn out tissue or design patches," said Ibrahim T. Ozbolat, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics. "Those who have osteoarthritis in their joints suffer a lot. We need a new alternative treatment for this."

Cartilage is a good tissue to target for scale-up bioprinting because it is made up of only one cell type and has no blood vessels within the tissue. It is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Quantum technologies to revolutionise 21st century - Nobel Laureates discuss at Lindau

30.06.2016 | Event News

International Conference ‘GEO BON’ Wants to Close Knowledge Gaps in Global Biodiversity

28.06.2016 | Event News

ERES 2016: The largest conference in the European real estate industry

09.06.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Modeling NAFLD with human pluripotent stem cell derived immature hepatocyte like cells

30.06.2016 | Health and Medicine

Rice University lab runs crowd-sourced competition to create 'big data' diagnostic tools

30.06.2016 | Life Sciences

A drop of water as a model for the interplay of adhesion and stiction

30.06.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>