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Penn-led collaboration mimics library of bio-membranes for use in nanomedicine, drug delivery
Date:5/20/2010

PHILADELPHIA - An international collaboration led by chemists and engineers from the University of Pennsylvania has prepared a library of synthetic biomaterials that mimic cellular membranes and that show promise in targeted delivery of cancer drugs, gene therapy, proteins, imaging and diagnostic agents and cosmetics safely to the body in the emerging field called nanomedicine.

The study appears in the current issue of the journal Science.

The research provides the first description of the preparation, structure, self-assembly and mechanical properties of vesicles and other selected complex nano-assemblies made from Janus dendrimers.

The so-called dendrimersomes are stable, bilayer vesicles that spontaneously form from the exact chemical composition of Janus dendrimers. The team reported a myriad of bilayer capsule populations, uniform in size, stable in time in a large variety of media and temperatures, that are tunable by temperature and chemistry with superior mechanical properties to regular liposomes and impermeable to encapsulated compounds. They are capable of incorporating pore-forming proteins, can assemble with structure-directing phospholipids and block copolymers and offer a molecular periphery suitable for chemical functionalization without affecting their self-assembly.

Co-authors Virgil Percec of Penn's Department of Chemistry and Daniel A. Hammer of Penn's Department of Bioengineering, joined by Frank Bates and Timothy Lodge of the University of Minnesota, Michael Klein of Temple University and Kari Rissanen of the Jyvskyl University, in Finland, have chemically coupled hydrophilic and hydrophobic dendrons to create amphiphilic Janus dendrimers with a rich palette of morphologies including cubosomes, disks, tubular vesicles and helical ribbons and confirmed the assembled structures using cryogenic transmission electron microscopy and fluorescence microscopy.

"Dendrimersomes marry the
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Contact: Jordan Reese
jreese@upenn.edu
215-573-6604
University of Pennsylvania
Source:Eurekalert  

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