A paper appearing online in Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine as an article-in-press describes specific delivery of a chemotherapeutic drug to specific cells in the lung, particularly the alveolar white cell, without causing acute inflammation.
Quantum dots are tiny semiconductor particles generally no larger than 10 nanometers that can be made to fluoresce in different colors depending on their size. Scientists are interested in quantum dots because they are a superb carrier and last much longer than conventional dyes used to tag molecules, which usually stop emitting light in seconds.
"The ability to target specific cells in the lung without exposing surrounding cells and tissue or distant organs to the detrimental effects of drugs is an exciting avenue to explore," says Krishnan V. Chakravarthy, PhD, a research fellow in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences joint MD/PhD program and lead author on the paper.
"We have been able to prove this in both cultured cells and in animals," he continues. "The technology is still in its infancy, but being able to conduct these experiments in the whole animal makes it more promising as a clinical application. The long-term goal would be to do targeted drug delivery through aerosolized techniques, making it suitable for clinical use."
Researchers in UB's Institute of Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics have made major advancements in the use of quantum dots, sometimes called artificial atoms, to build new devices for biological and environmental sensing.
In this research, quantum dots were linked with doxorubicin, an anti-cancer chemotherapy drug, to target specific lung cells, known as alveolar macrophages (aMØ) which play a critical role in the pathogenesis of various inflammatory lung injuries.
"The aMØ is the sentinel cell involved in directing the host innate and adaptive immune responses involved in infectious and non-infectious lung diseases such as COPD," notes Chakravarthy. "The aMØ's central role in response to environmental influences makes these cells an ideal candidate for targeted drug delivery to modulate the immune/inflammatory response."
To test the ability of linked quantum dot-doxorubicin (QD-DOX) to decrease lung inflammation, the researchers delivered QD-DOX or doxorubicin alone to rats and mice and assessed the damage to the lung. Doxorubicin, a frequently used cancer drug, is known to cause a variety of damaging immune responses in cancer patients.
Results showed that QD-DOX increased uptake of the drug compared with doxorubicin alone, and did not cause as significant a pro-inflammatory response as doxorubicin alone. The researchers also demonstrated that the drug is released from the QD-DOX formulation once it is delivered into the targeted cell and still retains its bioactivity.
"Based on these results, we believe that linking quantum dots with therapeutic drugs may have tremendous potential for diagnosis and treatment of lung injury compared to other nanoparticle formulations, and should be further developed for lung pharmacotherapy applications," says Chakravarthy.
Additional authors on the paper, all from UB, are Bruce A. Davidson, PhD; Jadwiga D. Helsinki; Hong Ding, PhD; Wing-Cheung Law; Ken-Tye Yong, PhD; Paras N. Prasad, PhD; and Paul Knight, MD, PhD.
The research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health to Chakravarthy, Knight and Prasad, and by a grant from John Oishei Foundation to Prasad.
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.
Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences