Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New technology delivers sustained release of drugs for up to six months

Date:
August 13, 2012
Source:
Cambridge Enterprise University of Cambridge
Summary:
A new technology which delivers sustained release of therapeutics for up to six months could be used in conditions which require routine injections, including diabetes, certain forms of cancer and potentially HIV/AIDS.

A new technology which delivers sustained release of therapeutics for up to six months could be used in conditions which require routine injections, including diabetes, certain forms of cancer and potentially HIV/AIDS.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have developed injectable, reformable and spreadable hydrogels which can be loaded with proteins or other therapeutics. The hydrogels contain up to 99.7% water by weight, with the remainder primarily made up of cellulose polymers held together with cucurbiturils -- barrel-shaped molecules which act as miniature 'handcuffs'.

"The hydrogels protect the proteins so that they remain bio-active for long periods, and allow the proteins to remain in their native state," says Dr Oren Scherman of the Department of Chemistry, who led the research. "Importantly, all the components can be incorporated at room temperature, which is key when dealing with proteins which denature when exposed to high heat."

The hydrogels developed by Scherman, Dr Xian Jun Loh and PhD student Eric Appel are capable of delivering sustained release of the proteins they contain for up to six months, compared with the current maximum of three months. The rate of release can be controlled according to the ratio of materials in the hydrogel.

Not only do these hydrogels double the window of content release, they use far less non-water material than current technology. The extra material serves as a type of scaffolding holding the hydrogel together, but it can affect performance of the cargo contained within it, so the less structure-forming material contained within the hydrogel, the more effectively it will perform.

As drug therapy moves away from small molecule drugs toward protein-based therapy, applications such hormone therapy, wound healing and insulin treatment would all be ideal applications for the hydrogels.

For example, more than a quarter of the 2.9 million individuals in the UK who have diabetes have to inject themselves daily with insulin in order to control blood glucose levels. Containing the insulin within a hydrogel could potentially reduce the number of annual injections from 365 to just two.

The long-term sustained release would be especially useful in resource-deprived or rural settings where patients requiring daily medication may not have regular access to a doctor. "There's been a lot of research that shows patients who need to take a pill each day for the rest of their lives, especially HIV patients in Africa who do not show any obvious symptoms, will take the pills for a maximum of six months before they stop, negating the point of taking the medication in the first place," says Appel. "If patients only have to take one shot which will give them six month's worth of medication, we'll have a much greater chance of affecting an entire population and slowing or stopping the progression of a disease."

The team are currently working with researchers from the Brain Repair Centre in the Department of Clinical Medicine on how the technology might be used as a possible treatment for brain cancer.

The research was published recently in the journal Biomaterials and has been patented by Cambridge Enterprise, the University's commercialisation group.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cambridge Enterprise University of Cambridge. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. David J. Mooney, Daniel F. Baldwin, Nam P. Suh, Joseph P. Vacanti, Robert Langer. Novel approach to fabricate porous sponges of poly(d,l-lactic-co-glycolic acid) without the use of organic solvents. Biomaterials, 1996; 17 (14): 1417 DOI: 10.1016/0142-9612(96)87284-X

Cite This Page:

Cambridge Enterprise University of Cambridge. "New technology delivers sustained release of drugs for up to six months." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120813203044.htm>.
Cambridge Enterprise University of Cambridge. (2012, August 13). New technology delivers sustained release of drugs for up to six months. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120813203044.htm
Cambridge Enterprise University of Cambridge. "New technology delivers sustained release of drugs for up to six months." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120813203044.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