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Researchers develop novel polymer to help oral medications reach the bloodstream
Date:8/28/2013

All too often, when a person takes a pill full of a potent and effective drug, the drug passes straight through the body, not reaching the organ where it is needed a waste of money and inconvenient if it is a cold medicine, but potentially dire if it is a treatment for a serious illness.

Polymer chemists at Virginia Tech and pharmaceutical scientists at Purdue University have teamed up to design a solution.

Their research to identify, understand, and create new polymer additives that enhance the ability of orally administered drugs to reach the bloodstream has been published in a series of journals.

In a special edition of Carbohydrate Polymers, they introduced an all-natural polymer that can be used with a range of medicines to prevent crystallization during transport and storage; it then traverses the digestive tract until the still fully potent medicine is released from the polymer in the small intestine, where it is best absorbed into the bloodstream.

Kevin Edgar, a professor of biomaterials and bioprocessing in the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech and an expert in polymer synthesis, approached Lynne Taylor, a professor of industrial and physical pharmacy at Purdue University, about collaboration.

"Dr. Taylor is one of the leading pharmaceutical scientists in the world," said Edgar. "We decided that by combining her ability to understand how drugs, polymers, and the human body interact, with our ability to make new polymers based on natural, renewable polysaccharides, we could address the challenge of making some very importa
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Contact: Lynn Davis
davisl@vt.edu
540-231-6157
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert

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