Now a team of researchers led by Boston University Biomedical Engineer and Chemist Mark Grinstaff has developed a unique material and drug delivery mechanism that could pave the way for implants that release a drug at a designated rate for months.
The system consists of a biocompatible, highly porous, three-dimensional polymer material containing a selected drug and a volume of air that slows infiltration from surrounding water. As water seeps into the material, it displaces the air, gradually releasing the drug.
"The idea was to create a 3D material that has polymer fibers throughout and air trapped within," said Grinstaff, who developed the material in conjunction with BU biomedical engineering PhD student Stefan Yohe and Dr. Yolanda Colson, a Brigham and Women's Hospital thoracic surgeon and lung cancer specialist. "If we can slow the penetration of water into the structure, it will slow the release of the drug."
To prevent water from flooding the structure and causing an immediate release of the drug, Grinstaff and his colleagues designed the air-filled, mesh-like material to be "superhydrophobic"—so water-resistant that droplets of water barely touch the surface, forming beads similar to those that appear on a freshly waxed car. They produced the porous polymer mesh using a process called electrospinning, which overlays micron-sized fibers upon one another.
To control the rate of drug release, they adjusted chemical and physical properties of the material so that the entrapped air is loosely or tightly held. The more tightly held the air is within the structure, the harder it is for water to displace it, the slower the release, and the longer the treatment duration.
Loaded with a widely used anti-cancer drug called SN-38 in in vitro experiments, the polymer mesh and internal air pocket proved to be robust and effective against lung cancer cells in solution for more than 60 days, indicating its suitability for long-term drug delivery. Grinstaff and his collaborators next plan to conduct a series of in vivo experiments to evaluate the system's efficiency and potential clinical effectiveness—a critical preliminary step before initiating clinical trials.
Supported by the National Institutes of Health, The Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, the Center for Integration of Medicine & Innovative Technology and Boston University, this research was originally sparked by the Grinstaff group's ongoing investigation of potential therapies for recurring lung cancer, and interest in the use of new materials and procedures to deliver drugs over the course of months.
"Many researchers are advancing new drug delivery systems, and several others are designing superhydrophobic materials, but we're combining these disciplines to see if we can open up new doors and enable more effective treatments for a wide range of diseases," said Grinstaff.
The researchers detailed their novel drug delivery system in the January 16 online edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Michael Seele | EurekAlert!
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