This discovery could go a long way toward making injectable drugs more effective. The study is included in the March 2 Advance Online Publication on “Nature Nanotechnology’s” Web site (http://www.nature.com/nnano/index.html)
“This is next generation nanomedicine,” said Ferrari, the senior author. “Now, we’re engineering sophisticated nanostructures to elude the body’s natural defenses, locate tumors and other diseased cells, and release a payload of therapeutics, contrasting agents, or both over a controlled period. It’s the difference between riding a bicycle and a motorcycle.”
The study - “Mesoporous silicon particles as a multistage delivery system for imaging and therapeutic applications” - was conducted with researchers from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and Rice University.
Nanotechnology offers new and powerful tools to design and to engineer novel drug delivery systems and to predict how they will work once inside the body. “The field of therapeutic nanoparticles began with tiny drug-encapsulated fat bubbles called liposomes, now commonly used in cancer clinics worldwide. Targeting molecules were later added to liposomes and other nanovectors to assist in directing them to diseased cells,” Ferrari said.
Getting intravenous agents to their intended targets is no easy task. It’s estimated that approximately one of every 100,000 molecules of agent reaches its desired destination. Physicians are faced with the quandary of increasing the dosage, which can lead to side effects or reducing the dosage, which can limit the therapeutic benefits.
The multistage approach, according to Ferrari, is needed to circumvent the body’s natural defenses or biobarriers, which act as obstacles to foreign objects injected in the blood stream. “To overcome this problem, we hypothesized and developed a multifunctional MDS comprising stage 1 mesoporous particles loaded with one or more types of stage 2 nanoparticles, which can in turn carry either active agents or higher-stage particles. We have demonstrated the loading, controlled release and simultaneous in vitro delivery of quantum-dots and carbon nanotubes to human vascular cells,” the authors write.
In addition to circumventing biobarriers, Ferrari’s team is working on the biochemical modifications required to efficiently deliver the MDS to a specific cancer lesion. “We have preliminary data that show that we can localize a payload of diagnostic agents, therapeutic agents or combination of both to target cells. Once on site, the molecules can be released in a controlled way and then the MDS will degrade in 24 to 48 hours, be transformed into orthosilicic acid and leave no trace in the body,” Ferrari said.
Lead author Ennio Tasciotti, Ph.D., senior postdoctoral fellow in the NanoMedicine Research Center at the UT Health Science Center at Houston, said the proof-of-concept study would have not been possible without a multidisciplinary effort including contributions from mathematicians, physicists, engineers, chemists and biologists.
“We are dealing with objects that are in the billionth of a meter size range and to study such objects we used cutting edge technologies,” Tasciotti said. “The characterization of the particles was performed using scanning electron and atomic force microscopy, dynamic light scattering, fluorimetry and flow cytometry. The interaction of particles with cells was studied using fluorescence and confocal microscopy as well as a series of assays intended to determine cell viability and internalization rate of the nanoparticles.”
Robert Cahill | EurekAlert!
Electrical 'switch' in brain's capillary network monitors activity and controls blood flow
27.03.2017 | Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont
Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences