Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nano shake-up: Routine handling can affect nano drug carriers

Date:
April 14, 2014
Source:
University of Delaware
Summary:
Routine processing can affect the size of nanocarriers for targeted drug delivery, new research shows. Nanotechnology has unlocked new pathways for targeted drug delivery, including the use of nanocarriers, or capsules, that can transport cargoes of small-molecule therapeutics to specific locations in the body. The catch? These carriers are tiny, and it matters just how tiny they are. Change the size from 10 nanometers to 100 nanometers, and the drugs can end up in the wrong cells or organs and thereby damage healthy tissues.

Significant advances have been made in chemotherapy over the past decade, but targeting drugs to cancer cells while avoiding healthy tissues continues to be a major challenge.

Nanotechnology has unlocked new pathways for targeted drug delivery, including the use of nanocarriers, or capsules, that can transport cargoes of small-molecule therapeutics to specific locations in the body.

The catch? These carriers are tiny, and it matters just how tiny they are. Change the size from 10 nanometers to 100 nanometers, and the drugs can end up in the wrong cells or organs and thereby damage healthy tissues.

A common assumption is that once a nanocarrier is created, it maintains its size and shape on the shelf as well as in the body.

However, recent work by a group of researchers led by Thomas H. Epps, III, and Millicent Sullivan in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware has shown that routine procedures in handling and processing nanocarrier solutions can have a significant influence on the size and shape of these miniscule structures.

Their findings are reported in a paper, "Size Evolution of Highly Amphiphilic Macromolecular Solution Assemblies Via a Distinct Bimodal Pathway," published in Nature Communications on April 7.

Sullivan explains that chemotherapeutic agents are designed to affect processes related to cell division. Therefore, they not only kill cancer cells but also are toxic to other rapidly proliferating cells such as those in hair follicles and bone marrow. Side effects can range from hair loss to compromised immune systems.

"Our goal is to deliver drugs more selectively and specifically to cancer cells," Sullivan says. "We want to sequester the drug so that we can control when and where it has an impact."

Although there are a number of routes to creating drug-carrying nanocapsules, there is growing interest in the use of polymers for this application.

"Molecular self-assembly of polymers offers the ability to create uniform, tailorable structures of predetermined size and shape," Epps says. "The problem lies in assuming that once they're produced, they don't change."

It turns out that they do change, and very small changes can have a very large impact.

"At 75 nanometers, a nanocarrier may deliver its cargo directly to a tumor," Epps says. "But with vigorous shaking, it can grow to 150 nanometers and may accumulate in the liver or the spleen. So simple agitation can completely alter the distribution profile of the nanocarrier-drug complex in the body."

The work has significant implications for the production, storage, and use of nano-based drug delivery systems.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Elizabeth G. Kelley, Ryan P. Murphy, Jonathan E. Seppala, Thomas P. Smart, Sarah D. Hann, Millicent O. Sullivan, Thomas H. Epps. Size evolution of highly amphiphilic macromolecular solution assemblies via a distinct bimodal pathway. Nature Communications, 2014; 5 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4599

Cite This Page:

University of Delaware. "Nano shake-up: Routine handling can affect nano drug carriers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414154414.htm>.
University of Delaware. (2014, April 14). Nano shake-up: Routine handling can affect nano drug carriers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414154414.htm
University of Delaware. "Nano shake-up: Routine handling can affect nano drug carriers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414154414.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lithium Battery 'Holy Grail' Could Provide 4 Times The Power

Lithium Battery 'Holy Grail' Could Provide 4 Times The Power

Newsy (July 28, 2014) Stanford University published its findings for a "pure" lithium ion battery that could have our everyday devices and electric cars running longer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shipping Crates Get New 'lease' On Life

Shipping Crates Get New 'lease' On Life

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 25, 2014) Shipping containers have been piling up as America imports more than it exports. Some university students in Washington D.C. are set to get a first-hand lesson in recycling. Their housing is being built using refashioned shipping containers. Lily Jamali reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 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:
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