Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

McLean Report on nanotechnology that may enhance medication delivery and improve MRI performance

02.05.2012
Researchers at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital have shown a new category of "green" nanoparticles comprised of a non-toxic, protein-based nanotechnology that can non-invasively cross the blood brain barrier and is capable of transporting various types of drugs.

In an article published May 1, 2012 online in PLoS ONE, Gordana Vitaliano, MD, director of the Brain Imaging NaNoTechnology Group at the McLean Hospital Imaging Center, reported that clathrin protein, a ubiquitous protein found in human, animal, plant, bacteria and fungi cells, can been modified for use as a nanoparticle for in-vivo studies.

"Clathrin has never been modified for use in vivo and offers many new and interesting possibilities for delivering drugs and medical imaging agents into the brain", said Vitaliano.

Clathrin is the body's primary delivery vehicle responsible for delivering many different types of molecules into cells. Vitaliano therefore believed that the protein's naturally potent transport capabilities might be put to practical medical use for drug delivery and medical imaging.

"This study provides a new insight into utilizing bioengineered clathrin protein as a novel nanoplatform that passes the blood brain barrier," said Vitaliano, who successfully attached different fluorescent labels, commonly used in imaging, to functionalize clathrin nanoparticles. "We were able to show that the clathrin nanoparticles could be non-invasively delivered to the central nervous system (CNS) in animals. The clathrin performed significantly."

Of major importance for future clinical applications, Vitaliano also showed that clathrin crossed and/or bypassed the blood-brain barrier without enhancers or modifications, unlike other nanoparticles. These findings open the door to exploring new and important CNS medical applications.

One important medical application for clathrin nanoparticles would be Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Gadolinium contrast agents are often used to improve MRI performance. In one configuration, Vitaliano found that functionalized clathrin nanoparticles performed 8,000 times better than an FDA approved MRI contrast agent (gadopentetate dimeglumine).

"Stated another way, it means 8,000 times less gadolinium might be required for achieving good MRI results. Because very low gadolinium concentrations would be required for MRI, it could significantly decrease gadolinium toxicity, which is an important issue," explained Vitaliano. "Clathrin transported gadolinium is therefore among the most potent, biocompatible contrast agents available."

These results in two different applications showed that clathrin offers substantial functionalization and transport flexibility. Purified clathrin nanoparticles could therefore serve as an appealing alternative to other medical nanoplatforms such as dendrimers, nanogels, solid lipid nanospheres, liposomes, and the like.

Given the critical need for new types of CNS drug transport capabilities, Vitaliano said her work would likely be of interest to researchers involved in neuroimaging and neuroscience, but also to radiologists, bioengineers, chemists, physicists, material scientists, biomedical researchers, and other researchers active at the frontiers of imaging and drug delivery.

Looking ahead, Vitaliano noted that her findings may also facilitate other studies for examining signaling pathways in different diseases that rely in whole or in part on clathrin transport, and thus may have a substantial impact in multiple fields.

McLean Hospital is the largest psychiatric clinical care, teaching and research facility of Harvard Medical School, an affiliate of Massachusetts General Hospital and a member of Partners HealthCare. For more information about McLean Hospital, visit www.mclean.harvard.edu.

Adriana Bobinchock | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mclean.harvard.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New bioimaging technique is fast and economical

21.08.2017 | Medical Engineering

Silk could improve sensitivity, flexibility of wearable body sensors

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections

21.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>