Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New nanomedicine slips through the cracks

24.04.2019

Nanomachines aim to deliver cancer drugs to hard-to-reach areas like the brain

In a recent study in mice, researchers found a way to deliver specific drugs to parts of the body that are exceptionally difficult to access. Their Y-shaped block catiomer (YBC) binds with certain therapeutic materials forming a package 18 nanometers wide.

The package is less than one-fifth the size of those produced in previous studies, so can pass through much smaller gaps. This allows YBCs to slip through tight barriers in cancers of the brain or pancreas.

The fight against cancer is fought on many fronts. One promising field is gene therapy, which targets genetic causes of diseases to reduce their effect. The idea is to inject a nucleic acid-based drug into the bloodstream - typically small interfering RNA (siRNA) - which binds to a specific problem-causing gene and deactivates it.

However, siRNA is very fragile and needs to be protected within a nanoparticle or it breaks down before reaching its target.

"siRNA can switch off specific gene expressions that may cause harm. They are the next generation of biopharmaceuticals that could treat various intractable diseases, including cancer," explained Associate Professor Kanjiro Miyata of the University of Tokyo, who jointly supervised the study. "However, siRNA is easily eliminated from the body by enzymatic degradation or excretion. Clearly a new delivery method was called for."

Presently, nanoparticles are about 100 nanometers wide, one-thousandth the thickness of paper. This is small enough to grant them access to the liver through the leaky blood vessel wall. However some cancers are harder to reach.

Pancreatic cancer is surrounded by fibrous tissues and cancers in the brain by tightly connected vascular cells. In both cases the gaps available are much smaller than 100 nanometers. Miyata and colleagues created an siRNA carrier small enough to slip through these gaps in the tissues.

"We used polymers to fabricate a small and stable nanomachine for the delivery of siRNA drugs to cancer tissues with a tight access barrier," said Miyata. "The shape and length of component polymers is precisely adjusted to bind to specific siRNAs, so it is configurable."

The team's nanomachine is called a Y-shaped block catiomer, as two component molecules of polymeric materials are connected in a Y-shape formation. The YBC has several sites of positive charge which bind to negative charges in siRNA. The number of positive charges in YBC can be controlled to determine which kind of siRNA it binds with. When YBC and siRNA are bound, they are called a unit polyion complex (uPIC), which are under 20 nanometers in size.

"The most surprising thing about our creation is that the component polymers are so simple, yet uPIC is so stable," concluded Miyata. "It has been a great but worthy challenge over many years to develop efficient delivery systems for nucleic acid drugs. It is early days, but I hope to see this research progress from mice to help treat people with hard-to-treat cancers one day."

###

Journal article

Sumiyo Watanabe, Hyun Jin Kim, Hiroyuki Chaya, Satoshi Uchida, Satomi Ogura, Horacio Cabral, Yu Matsumoto, Hiroshi Fukuhara, Masaomi Nangaku, Kensuke Osada, Kanjiro Miyata, Kazunori Kataoka, et al. In vivo rendezvous of small nucleic acid drugs with charge-matched block catiomers to target cancers. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-09856-w

Funding Program for World-Leading Innovative R&D in Science and Technology (FIRST) from JSPS. Center of Innovation (COI) Program from JST. JSPS KAKENHI Grants 24659411, 25000006, 25282141 and 17H02098. Project for Development of Innovative Research on Cancer Therapeutics (P-DIRECT) from AMED. Project for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Evolution (P-CREATE) from AMED. Basic Science and Platform Technology Program for Innovative Biological Medicine (IBIOMED) from AMED.

Related links

Miyata Laboratory

http://www.bmm.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/english/index.html

Department of Materials Engineering

http://www.material.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/e/

Graduate School of Engineering

https://www.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/soee/

Research Contact

Associate Professor Kanjiro Miyata
Department of Materials Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, JAPAN
Tel: +81-3-5841-0862
Email: miyata@bmw.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Press Contact

Mr. Rohan Mehra
Division for Strategic Public Relations, The University of Tokyo
7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8654, JAPAN
Tel: +81-3-5841-0876
Email: press-releases.adm@gs.mail.u-tokyo.ac.jp

About the University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo is Japan's leading university and one of the world's top research universities. The vast research output of some 6,000 researchers is published in the world's top journals across the arts and sciences. Our vibrant student body of around 15,000 undergraduate and 15,000 graduate students includes over 2,000 international students. Find out more at https://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/ or follow us on Twitter at @UTokyo_News_en.

Media Contact

Kanjiro Miyata
miyata@bmw.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp
81-358-410-862

 @UTokyo_News_en

http://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp 

Kanjiro Miyata | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-09856-w
https://www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/198935.php?from=427650

Further reports about: Materials Engineering Y-shaped block catiomer YBC cracks drugs nanometers siRNA

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Genetic differences between strains of Epstein-Barr virus can alter its activity
18.07.2019 | University of Sussex

nachricht Machine learning platform guides pancreatic cyst management in patients
18.07.2019 | American Association for the Advancement of Science

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: Better thermal conductivity by adjusting the arrangement of atoms

Adjusting the thermal conductivity of materials is one of the challenges nanoscience is currently facing. Together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Spain, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that the atomic vibrations that determine heat generation in nanowires can be controlled through the arrangement of atoms alone. The scientists will publish the results shortly in the journal Nano Letters.

In the electronics and computer industry, components are becoming ever smaller and more powerful. However, there are problems with the heat generation. It is...

Im Focus: First-ever visualizations of electrical gating effects on electronic structure

Scientists have visualised the electronic structure in a microelectronic device for the first time, opening up opportunities for finely-tuned high performance electronic devices.

Physicists from the University of Warwick and the University of Washington have developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in...

Im Focus: Megakaryocytes act as „bouncers“ restraining cell migration in the bone marrow

Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.

Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces all types of blood cells: red...

Im Focus: Artificial neural network resolves puzzles from condensed matter physics: Which is the perfect quantum theory?

For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.

Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...

Im Focus: Extremely hard yet metallically conductive: Bayreuth researchers develop novel material with high-tech prospects

An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bayreuth has produced a previously unknown material: Rhenium nitride pernitride. Thanks to combining properties that were previously considered incompatible, it looks set to become highly attractive for technological applications. Indeed, it is a super-hard metallic conductor that can withstand extremely high pressures like a diamond. A process now developed in Bayreuth opens up the possibility of producing rhenium nitride pernitride and other technologically interesting materials in sufficiently large quantity for their properties characterisation. The new findings are presented in "Nature Communications".

The possibility of finding a compound that was metallically conductive, super-hard, and ultra-incompressible was long considered unlikely in science. It was...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Heat flow through single molecules detected

19.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Heat transport through single molecules

19.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Welcome Committee for Comets

19.07.2019 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>