Navigation Links
Super-mini vehicles carry therapeutics and imaging agents into body with mega results

Measured in billionths of a meter, self-assembling nano-sized devices designed to carry drugs and imaging agents into the body are revolutionizing medicine by improving drug solubility and bio-distribution, providing a platform for combining targeting and imaging agents, and enabling membrane barriers to be crossed as well as making drug and imaging agent combination therapies possible.

Self-assembling nano devices are now enlisted in the nanomedicine revolution, a story as told by researchers from Duke University and the University of Southern California in an article in the current TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION, Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors . (

Their report covers two classes of self-assembled, nanoscale medical delivery devices currently used to transport drugs and also imaging materials across physiological barriers that they, acting by themselves, would be unable to cross.

"Nanoscale self-assembly devices are complex structures organized from simpler subcomponents - either naturally occurring or engineered - which assume complex structures difficult to attain by chemical synthesis," said the paper's corresponding author Dr. Ashutosh Chilkoti, professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University. "Their disassociation can be triggered by external stimuli, which serve as mechanisms to release therapeutic payloads."

According to Dr. Chilkoti and his co-authors, Dr. Mingan Chen and Jonathan R. McDaniel of the Duke University Department of Biomedical Engineering, as well as Dr. J. Andrew MacKay of the University of Southern California Department of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, many biological events rely on structures that self-assemble or disassemble based on environmental changes or physiological needs. Such natural self-assemblies used in nanomedicine rely on multiple weak forces, such as those associated with viral capsids and proteins.

Engineered self-assemblies used in nanomedicine come in over five groups of structural shapes, including the micellar nanostructure.

"We have recently developed a novel strategy that utilizes micelles self-assembled from recombinant polypeptides after attaching doxorubicin, a cancer drug, to deliver the drug," explained Dr. Chilkoti, who is also the director of the Duke University Center for Biologically Inspired Materials and Material Systems.

According to Dr. MacKay, a co-corresponding author of the report, the stability of micelles is important to their success or failure as drug delivery systems.

"The stability of micelles has thermodynamic and kinetic components," he said. "All factors that influence micellar stability can be tuned at the genetic level. Thus, we believe that genetically encoded polypeptide micelles are likely to play an increasing role in the design of next generation nanoscale carriers of drug and imaging agents."

In their report, the authors evaluate the structural and physiochemical properties, as well as the potential applications, of each type of structure.


Contact: Randolph Fillmore
University of South Florida (USF Health)

Related biology news :

1. Healing wounds with lasers, vehicles that drive themselves, other cutting-edge optics
2. Chasing tiny vehicles
3. Ethanol-powered vehicles generate more ozone than gas-powered ones
4. ORNL strengthens DOE-funded clean vehicles team
5. UW leading $7.5 million study of animal flight and aerial vehicles
6. Earthworm activity can alter forests carbon-carrying capabilities
7. Polarized light guides cholera-carrying midges that contaminate water supplies
8. Weizmann Institute scientists show extra copies of a gene carry extra risk
9. Dust deposited in oceans may carry elements toxic to marine algae
10. Gorillas carry malignant malaria parasite, study reports
11. Tool use in an invertebrate: The coconut-carrying octopus
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/20/2015)... -- NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), ... commerce market and creator of the Wocket® smart wallet, ... interviewed on The RedChip Money Report television ... Bloomberg Europe , Bloomberg Asia, Bloomberg Australia, and ... ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric authentication company ...
(Date:11/19/2015)... -- Although some 350 companies are actively involved in molecular ... according to Kalorama Information. These include Roche Diagnostics, Hologic, Abbott ... of the 6.1 billion-dollar molecular testing market, according to ... Diagnostic s .    ... one company and only a handful of companies can ...
(Date:11/18/2015)... , November 18, 2015 ... published a new market report titled  Gesture Recognition Market ... Forecast, 2015 - 2021. According to the report, the global gesture ... is anticipated to reach US$29.1 bn by 2021, at ... North America dominated the global ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Studies reveal the differences ... and pave the way for more effective treatment for one ...   --> --> ... problems in cats, yet relatively little was understood about the ... have been conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre for ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: NBIX ) announced ... of Neurocrine Biosciences, will be presenting at the 27th ... York . .   ... minutes prior to the presentation to download or install ... be available on the website approximately one hour after ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... A long-standing partnership between ... (OPBAP) has been formalized with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. , ... leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn Tuesday, November 24, 2015, at ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 ... Report is a professional and in-depth study on ...      (Logo: ) , ... the industry including definitions, classifications, applications and industry ... for the international markets including development trends, competitive ...
Breaking Biology Technology: