Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drugs Made From Polymers, The Stuff Of Plastics

Date:
August 24, 2000
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
A potentially safer, more potent form of aspirin - made from the same polymers that are the stuff of plastics - was described at the 220th national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

New form of aspirin could eliminate stomach irritation and other side effects

Washington, Aug. 22 - A potentially safer, more potent form of aspirin - made from the same polymers that are the stuff of plastics - was described here today at the 220th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Others have used polymers as carrier molecules to deliver drugs and housed drugs within polymer capsules. But this is believed to be the first time that a polymer has been used as a drug itself, says Kathryn Uhrich, Ph.D., the principal investigator of the study and a professor of chemistry at Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J.

"It sounds so simple, but nobody's ever done this before," says Uhrich, who foresees making other beneficial drugs into polymers. "We think there is great potential for these polymers."

Called PolyAspirin™, the drug consists of about 100 individual molecules of aspirin strung together in a chain to form an elastic compound, or polymer. A promising treatment for diseases ranging from inflammatory bowel disease to tuberculosis, it could eliminate stomach irritation and other side effects of using aspirin, reports the researcher. She expects human clinical trials to begin within two years.

New uses for aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid, continue to be discovered. Once taken mainly to manage pain caused by headaches and arthritis, the versatile drug now helps prevent heart attacks and strokes. Some researchers believe it might be able to help prevent cancer and Alzheimer's disease as well.

But aspirin has a downside. In the stomach, it breaks down into its active ingredient, salicylic acid. As the stomach lining is sensitive to this acid, prolonged use of the drug can result in bleeding and stomach ulcers.

The structure of PolyAspirin™ allows it to dodge the stomach's acidic environment and break down into salicylic acid later - primarily when it hits the intestine's alkaline environment, where it is absorbed. As a result, the medication is delivered more efficiently and sticks to its target better, Uhrich says. This could mean taking smaller pills and using them less frequently, she notes.

PolyAspirin™ recently exhibited another, unexpected benefit: Mice given the drug grew 37 percent more new bone than a control group. This suggests additional potential uses: treating gum disease, coating orthopedic pins, and helping people heal after hip-replacement surgery, the researcher says.

Uhrich and her associates are also making a polymer version of para-aminosalicylic acid, a drug used to treat tuberculosis that can irritate the stomach - a side effect they hope to avoid.

Other possibilities include polymer versions of antibiotics that release medication slowly over time and surgical sutures that deliver anti-inflammatory drugs even as they dissolve.

Funding for this research was provided by the National Institutes of Health, DuPont and Johnson & Johnson.

The paper on this research, POLY 253, will be presented at 9:50 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 22, in the J.W. Marriott Hotel, Capitol Salon E. See page 129 in the final program.

Kathryn Uhrich, Ph.D., is an associate professor of chemistry at Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J.

A nonprofit organization with a membership of 161,000 chemists and chemical engineers, the American Chemical Society publishes scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences, and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Drugs Made From Polymers, The Stuff Of Plastics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000823082018.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2000, August 24). Drugs Made From Polymers, The Stuff Of Plastics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000823082018.htm
American Chemical Society. "Drugs Made From Polymers, The Stuff Of Plastics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000823082018.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins