Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Calcium carbonate templates for drug delivery

Date:
July 4, 2012
Source:
Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces
Summary:
The fast and targeted delivery of drugs could soon be made easier. Microcontainers for medical substances can be produced in different sizes using calcium carbonate microspheres as templates, new research shows.

Illustration of the production of colloid spheres.
Credit: © Dr. X. Yan / MPI of Colloids and Interfaces

Microcontainers for medical substances can be produced in different sizes using calcium carbonate microspheres as templates.

The fast and targeted delivery of drugs to the focus of a disease could soon be made easier. Helmuth Möhwald and his colleagues from the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam-Golm have developed a simple technique for the production of drug containers which can be channelled to a selected target in the body. The researchers use porous calcium carbonate microspheres as templates for the production of hollow three-dimensional balls. These can absorb medically effective substances and allow signalling molecules to be attached to their surface, with the help of which the spheres can then find their way to the diseased tissue.

Chemotherapy is a successful weapon in the fight against cancer; however, it poses one major problem: the toxic substances not only inhibit the growth of the tumour cells, they also damage healthy tissue. Doctors often face this situation in their use of drugs. Microspheres or nanospheres that deliver drugs to targeted areas of the body and only release them there could help to overcome this problem. The method developed by the researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces makes it possible to produce such spheres in a broad range of sizes and to equip them with different functions.

The researchers start by selecting the calcium carbonate templates in the size that their drug containers should be at the end of the process. These CaCO3 particles can be produced in precisely defined sizes ranging from a few hundred nanometres to several micrometres. The scientists then fill the pores of the calcium carbonate spheres with nanoparticles and, if required, with medical substances. The nanoparticles can thus display different characteristics. They can, for example, consist of a material that is decomposed by light or certain substances and therefore act as openers for the drug vehicle.

The Potsdam-based researchers then surround the filled CaCO3 spheres with a web consisting of long protein chains -- alternatively, they can also use polymer threads for this purpose. The next step involves dissolving the CaCO3 template using an acid. The nanoparticles then arrange themselves into a porous sphere that is encased in the protein web. "We can very easily combine substances to form a multifunctional unit and tailor their chemical and physical properties to the required function," says Möhwald.

The protein web not only covers the hollow sphere, it also makes it biocompatible and can contain biochemical signalling substances that send the spheres directly to their target in the body.

Researchers also use other methods for the production of micro- and nanocontainers that could be suitable for drug delivery. For example, they cause molecules and nanoparticles to cluster together to form such structures using a "bottom-up" approach. "However, our process is easier to control, quicker to implement and more cost-effective than the other techniques developed up to now," says Helmuth Möhwald.

The Max Planck researcher and his colleagues in Potsdam have achieved an important step in enabling drugs to be delivered in a targeted way to the focus of disease in the body. In Helmuth Möhwald's view, this fulfils the task of basic research in this area: "Whether or not industry will adopt the method and develop it further to application maturity remains an open question."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Xuehai Yan, Junbai Li, Helmuth Möhwald. Templating Assembly of Multifunctional Hybrid Colloidal Spheres. Advanced Materials, 2012; 24 (20): 2663 DOI: 10.1002/adma.201200408

Cite This Page:

Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces. "Calcium carbonate templates for drug delivery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120704124057.htm>.
Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces. (2012, July 4). Calcium carbonate templates for drug delivery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120704124057.htm
Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces. "Calcium carbonate templates for drug delivery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120704124057.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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