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Nanopills release drugs directly from the inside of cells

Date:
March 16, 2012
Source:
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Summary:
Researchers in Spain have created nanoparticles which can release drugs directly from the cells' interior. The technology, which has been named "nanopills," was licensed to a firm that has verified its tolerance by administering it in vivo.

Nanopills.
Credit: Image courtesy of Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

Researchers at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) have created nanoparticles which could release drugs directly from the cells' interior. The technology, which has been named "nanopills," was licensed to the firm Janus Developments of the Barcelona Scientific Park, which verified its tolerance by administering it in vivo.

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UAB researchers developed a new vehicle to release proteins with therapeutic effects. This is known as "bacteria-inclusion bodies," stable insoluble nanoparticles which normally are found in recombinant bacteria. Even though these inclusion bodies traditionally have been an obstacle in the industrial production of soluble enzymes and biodrugs, they were recently recognised as having large amounts of functional proteins with direct values in industrial and biomedical applications.

The research team led by Antoni Vallverde from the Institute of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (IBB) at UAB worked in collaboration with the Online Biomedical Research Centre for Bioengineering, Biomaterials, and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN) to verify the value of these nanoparticles as natural "nanopills" with a strong capacity to penetrate cells and carry out biological activities. The nanopill concept represents a new and promising platform for drug administration and illustrates the yet to be explored power of microbian materials in medicine.

The researchers, in a multidisciplinary study at UAB led by Dr Esther Vàzquez, packaged four proteins containing different therapeutic effects into experimental nanopills, the inclusion bodies of the bacteria Escherichia coli. They put the bacteria in contact with cell cultures of mammals under similar conditions to those found in real clinical pathologies, "sick" cells with low viability, and achieved to recover their activity.

Once the technology was licensed to Janus Developments, the tolerance of its administration in vivo were confirmed through experiments conducted by UAB researcher Ester Fernández. The results and detailed description of the "nanopill" were published this week in the journal Advanced Materials.

The multidisciplinary study included researchers from IBB, the UAB Departments of Genetics and Microbiology and of Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology, the CIBER-BBN, the CIBER-EHD (Online Biomedical Research Centre for Hepatic and Digestive Diseases), the firm Janus Developments, the Leibniz University of Hannover and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Germany.

The use of inclusion bodies as therapeutic agents was patented by UAB and CIBER-BBN (patent code: WO2010131117A1), and licensed to the biotechnology firm Janus Developments, which currently invests in the development of the product.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Esther Vázquez, José L. Corchero, Joan F. Burgueño, Joaquin Seras-Franzoso, Ana Kosoy, Ramon Bosser, Rosa Mendoza, Joan Marc Martínez-Láinez, Ursula Rinas, Ester Fernández, Luis Ruiz-Avila, Elena García-Fruitós, Antonio Villaverde. Functional Inclusion Bodies Produced in Bacteria as Naturally Occurring Nanopills for Advanced Cell Therapies. Advanced Materials, 2012; DOI: 10.1002/adma.201104330

Cite This Page:

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. "Nanopills release drugs directly from the inside of cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120316145755.htm>.
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. (2012, March 16). Nanopills release drugs directly from the inside of cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120316145755.htm
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. "Nanopills release drugs directly from the inside of cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120316145755.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

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