Navigation Links
Dissolvable fabric loaded with medicine might offer faster protection against HIV

Soon, protection from HIV infection could be as simple as inserting a medicated, disappearing fabric minutes before having sex.

University of Washington bioengineers have discovered a potentially faster way to deliver a topical drug that protects women from contracting HIV. Their method spins the drug into silk-like fibers that quickly dissolve when in contact with moisture, releasing higher doses of the drug than possible with other topical materials such as gels or creams.

"This could offer women a potentially more effective, discreet way to protect themselves from HIV infection by inserting the drug-loaded materials into the vagina before sex," said Cameron Ball, a UW doctoral student in bioengineering and lead author on a paper in the August issue of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

The UW team, led by bioengineering assistant professor Kim Woodrow, previously found that electrically spun cloth could be dissolved to release drugs. These new results build upon that research, showing that the fiber materials can hold 10 times the concentration of medicine as anti-HIV gels currently under development.

Oral pills are used in the U.S. for people who are considered at risk for HIV infection, and topical medications in the form of gels and films are just starting to be developed. These products would be placed inside the vagina before sexual intercourse, allowing the drug to dissolve and diffuse into the surrounding tissue. Called microbicides, the drugs must be given as a large dose to be effective minutes before sex.

But these topical drugs haven't done well in clinical trials, partly because they aren't always easy for women to use. Drugs in film form take at least 15 minutes to fully dissolve in the body, and the volume of gels must be large enough to deliver a full dose but small enough to prevent leakage. These factors can make microbicides difficult for a woman to use before sex, researchers said.

"The effectiveness of an anti-HIV topical drug depends partially on high-enough dosages and quick release," Ball said. "We have achieved higher drug loading in our material such that you wouldn't need to insert a large amount of these fibers to deliver enough of the drug to be helpful."

The UW team created the soft fibers using a process called electrospinning. They first dissolved a polymer and combined it with a drug, maraviroc, and other agents often used in pharmaceuticals that help a material become more water soluble and dissolve quicker. Maraviroc currently is used to treat symptoms of HIV for people who already have the virus.

The syrupy substance is then charged with a high-voltage generator and passed through a syringe. The electric charge on the substance's surface causes it to form a long string from the syringe, where it whips around or spins before collecting on an electrically grounded surface. A palm-sized swatch of the fabric takes about five minutes to make.

Anti-HIV drugs such as maraviroc can take a while to dissolve, so the researchers looked at different ingredients for the fiber that would allow for the highest concentration of drug with the fastest-possible release in the body. Because the electrically spun fibers have a large surface area, researchers were able to create samples in which nearly 30 percent of the mass was composed of the drug itself. In topical gels, the drug makes up only about 3 percent of the total mass.

By adjusting the ingredients in the fibers, researchers were able to dissolve the drug in about six minutes, no matter how much drug mass was in the fiber.

The research team says the soft, dissolving fibers could be rolled into a cardboard tampon applicator for insertion or built into the shape of a vaginal ring, similar to those used for contraception. The material can accommodate different anti-HIV drugs and the team is testing several others for effectiveness.

"We think the fiber platform technology has the capability of being developed into multifunctional medical fabrics that address simultaneously challenges related to biological efficacy and user preferences," Woodrow said.

Researchers are currently focused on developing prototypes based on user guidance that can be tested for safety and efficacy in animal models.


Contact: Michelle Ma
University of Washington

Related biology news :

1. Fully dissolvable, temporary stent for opening heart artery blockages
2. Material in dissolvable sutures could treat brain infections, reducing hospital stays
3. UH chemical engineer makes device fabrication easier, thanks to NSF grant
4. New digital fabrication technique creates interlocking 3D-printed ceramic PolyBricks
5. Butterfly wings inspire new technologies: from fabrics and cosmetics to sensors
6. UCI researchers fabricate new camouflage coating from squid protein
7. Hagfish slime as a model for tomorrows natural fabrics
8. Developing second skin military fabric to repel chemical and biological agents
9. A smart fabric sets off the alarm
10. National Science Foundation awards $1 million to improve the efficiency of DNA fabrication
11. Herpes-loaded stem cells used to kill brain tumors
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Dissolvable fabric loaded with medicine might offer faster protection against HIV
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled ... medical LCD display is the latest premium product recently added to the range of ... ... ... Sony 3d Imaging- LCD Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision ... Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a complete ... MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple complex biometric transactions ... of fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It leverages ... and MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... The new GEZE SecuLogic access ... "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. It can ... door interface with integration authorization management system, and thus ... minimal dimensions of the access control and the optimum ... offer considerable freedom of design with regard to the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased to ... AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval of the ... Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods perform comparably ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition ... harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams ... New York City . The ... projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong ... senior curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... ... Supplyframe, the Industry Network for electronics hardware design and ... in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission is to bring together inventors and ... brought to market. , The Design Lab is Supplyframe’s physical representation of one ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... ... In a new case report published today in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, doctors ... being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection of stem cells derived from ... frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , Lymphedema refers to the swelling ...
Breaking Biology Technology: