Navigation Links
Navigable nanotransport

To accurately transport pharmaceutical agents to their specific target organs or cell types, you need a good carrier: nanoscopic capsules with surface elements that can "recognize" the target in question could do the trick.

To date, all methods for the production of such tiny capsules require preorganized structures or "molds" to shape hollow spheres and most methods require a lengthy, tedious synthetic or purification procedure. Korean researchers led by Kimoon Kim have now developed a very simple novel approach for the direct production of polymeric nanocapsules. As described in the journal Angewandte Chemie, this method is generally applicable to any monomers as long as they have a flat core and multiple polymerizable groups at the periphery. Additionally, if building block are chosen that are able to bind specific (bio)molecules very tightly, the surface of the capsule can be easily decorated with species that are recognized by cells, showing the transporter the way to reach its goal, such as a tumor cell.

To demonstrate the power of their new concept, Kim and his team chose rigid, disk-shaped monomers equipped with a ring of special molecular "hooks" that can be activated by UV light. When a solution containing these disks is irradiated, the hooks grab on to each other, linking the disks into little, two-dimensional "patches" that in turn hook on to other patches. Once they reach a certain size, the patches bend around and close off to form hollow spheres, which can then be filled with guest molecules. The size of the spheres is very uniform and depends largely on the solvent in which the linking reaction takes place. The researchers used this method to produce capsules with diameters ranging from 50 to 600 nm.

The little disks used in this process deserve special consideration: Kim and his colleagues chose to use curcurbiturils. These disk-shaped molecules have a cavity at their center. As their shape resembles a hollowed-out pumpkin , this class of compounds was named after the plant genus of pumpkins, the cucurbitaceae. When the mini-pumpkins are linked together, they form an empty sphere with many tiny cavities on its surface. These "pockets" can be filled with certain nitrogen-containing biomolecules, such as spermine, in a very stable fashion.

The Korean researchers coupled spermine to the vitamin folic acid and packed these hybrid molecules into the capsule's pockets. This gave them capsules with a surface covered with folic acid molecules. What for? Many tumors have a significantly increased number of folic acid receptors on the surfaces of their cells. The folic acid on the capsules docks into these sites and is brought into the interior of the cell. Here, the contents of the capsule, such as an antitumor drug or contrast agent, can be released to selectively attack the tumor or to make an unambiguous diagnosis.


'"/>

Source:John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


Related biology news :

1. Major new UNC-based drinking water study suggests pregnancy fears may be overstated
2. Major breakthrough in the treatment of cancers and infectious diseases
3. Major advance made on DNA structure
4. Major WHO study concludes calcium supplements can reduce complications during pregnancy
5. Major obesity gene is lost in the shuffle
6. Major initiative proposed to address amphibian crisis
7. Major cancer study aims to identify protein markers for early-stage disease
8. Major link in brain-obesity puzzle found
9. Bioartificial kidney under study at MCG
10. W.M. Keck Foundation funds study of friendly microbes
11. Yellowstone microbes fueled by hydrogen, according to U. of Colorado study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... partnership to integrate the Onegini mobile security platform ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) The integration ... security to access and transact across channels. Using ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... April 15, 2016  A new partnership announced ... accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction of the ... priced and high-value life insurance policies to consumers ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine ... readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity ...
(Date:4/13/2016)...  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in ... standard in telehealth thanks to a new partnership with ... IMPOWER patients can routinely track key health measurements, such ... and, when they opt in, share them with IMPOWER ... local retail location at no cost. By leveraging this ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... DIEGO , June 24, 2016 ... more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors ... circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test has ... HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The ... is proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This list ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their ... agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, ... connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... FRANCISCO , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome ... has secured $1 million in debt financing from Silicon ... ramp up automation and to advance its drug development ... its new facility. "SVB has been an ... beyond the services a traditional bank would provide," said ...
Breaking Biology Technology: