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 Observing the cell's protein factories during self-assembly
15.06.2018 | Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

nachricht Scientists unravel molecular mechanisms of Parkinson's disease
13.06.2018 | The Francis Crick Institute

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: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel method for investigating pore geometry in rocks

18.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Diamond watch components

18.06.2018 | Process Engineering

New type of photosynthesis discovered

18.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>