New! Sign up for our free email newsletter.
Science News
from research organizations

Gold Nanoparticles For Controlled Drug Delivery

Date:
January 6, 2009
Source:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Summary:
Using tiny gold particles and infrared light, MIT researchers have developed a drug-delivery system that allows multiple drugs to be released in a controlled fashion.
Share:
FULL STORY

Using tiny gold particles and infrared light, MIT researchers have developed a drug-delivery system that allows multiple drugs to be released in a controlled fashion.

Such a system could one day be used to provide more control when battling diseases commonly treated with more than one drug, according to the researchers.

"With a lot of diseases, especially cancer and AIDS, you get a synergistic effect with more than one drug," said Kimberly Hamad-Schifferli, assistant professor of biological and mechanical engineering and senior author of a paper on the work that recently appeared in the journal ACS Nano.

Delivery devices already exist that can release two drugs, but the timing of the release must be built into the device -- it cannot be controlled from outside the body. The new system is controlled externally and theoretically could deliver up to three or four drugs.

The new technique takes advantage of the fact that when gold nanoparticles are exposed to infrared light, they melt and release drug payloads attached to their surfaces.

Nanoparticles of different shapes respond to different infrared wavelengths, so "just by controlling the infrared wavelength, we can choose the release time" for each drug, said Andy Wijaya, graduate student in chemical engineering and lead author of the paper.

The team built two different shapes of nanoparticles, which they call "nanobones" and "nanocapsules." Nanobones melt at light wavelengths of 1,100 nanometers, and nanocapsules at 800 nanometers.

In the ACS Nano study, the researchers tested the particles with a payload of DNA. Each nanoparticle can carry hundreds of strands of DNA, and could also be engineered to transport other types of drugs.

In theory, up to four different-shaped particles could be developed, each releasing its payload at different wavelengths.

Other authors of the paper are Stefan Schaffer and Ivan Pallares, who were National Science Foundation REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) summer students through the MIT Department of Biological Engineering in 2008.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Gold Nanoparticles For Controlled Drug Delivery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081231005359.htm>.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (2009, January 6). Gold Nanoparticles For Controlled Drug Delivery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081231005359.htm
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Gold Nanoparticles For Controlled Drug Delivery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081231005359.htm (accessed April 18, 2024).

Explore More

from ScienceDaily

RELATED STORIES