Navigation Links
Molecular nano-spies to make light work of disease detection
Date:1/14/2014

A world of cloak-and-dagger pharmaceuticals has come a step closer with the development of stealth compounds programmed to spring into action when they receive the signal.

Researchers at the University of Nottingham's School of Pharmacy have designed and tested large molecular complexes that will reveal their true identity only when they've reached their intended target, like disguised saboteurs working deep behind enemy lines.

The compounds have been developed as part of a five-year programme funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) called "Bar-Coded Materials".

The cloak each spherical complex wears is perhaps more a plastic mac: a sheath of biocompatible polymer that encapsulates and shrouds biologically active material inside, preventing any biological interaction so long as the shield remains in place.

The smart aspect is in the DNA-based zips that hold the coat in place until triggered to undo. Because any DNA code (or "molecular cipher") can be chosen, the release mechanism can be bar-coded so that it is triggered by a specific biomarker for example a message from a disease gene.

What is then exposed an active pharmaceutical compound, a molecular tag to attach to diseased tissue, or a molecular beacon to signal activation depends on what function is needed.

Professor Cameron Alexander, who leads the project, says: "These types of switchable nanoparticles could be extremely versatile. As well as initial detection of a medical condition, they could be used to monitor the progress of diseases and courses of treatment, or adapted to deliver potent drugs at particular locations in a patient's body. It might even become possible to use mobile phones rather than medical scanners to detect programmed responses from later generations of the devices."

In their initial trials, the team has proved the concept works in the test tube the switchable molecular constructs do respond as expected when presented with the right molecular signals. The group is now working hard to push their idea forwards.

An early application might be in dipstick technology testing for specific infections in a blood or spit sample, for example. But because the polymer coating (called polyethylene glycol) is biocompatible, the researchers are hopeful that in the long run "self-authenticating medicines" based on the approach could be injected into patients, to seek out diseased tissue, and report their success.

"The key to this breakthrough has been the five-year EPSRC Leadership Fellowship awarded to me back in 2009", Professor Alexander comments. "This has provided the stability of funding to recruit and retain an outstanding team, who have been integral to realising the ideas put forward in the Fellowship. It has also given us the freedom to explore a whole range of new concepts, as well as the time needed to test our ideas to bring this and other breakthroughs within reach".


'/>"/>

Contact: EPSRC Press Office
pressoffice@epsrc.ac.uk
01-793-444-404
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Research shows molecular, protein targeting therapies may be best treatment for certain lung cancer
2. Molecular Diagnostics Role in Cancer Testing Analyzed in In-demand TriMark Report Published at MarketPublishers.com
3. New molecular targets identified in some hard-to-treat melanomas provide potential treatment option
4. The Association for Molecular Pathology releases position statement on LDTs
5. Polymer coatings based on molecular structures
6. Supercomputers help ORNL researchers identify key molecular switch that controls cell behavior
7. Mayo Clinic: Drug induces morphologic, molecular and clinical remissions in myelofibrosis
8. Maryville, Tennessee based Molecular Pathology Laboratory Network, Inc. (MPLN) Acquires the First FDA Approved High-Throughput DNA Sequencing Analyzer
9. Treatment plans for brain metastases more accurately determined with aid of molecular imaging trace
10. ATCC Examined the Importance of High-quality Controls in Assay Design and Development During the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) 2013 Annual Meeting
11. BCC Research Publishes A New Report On Global Markets For Molecular Imaging Devices
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/22/2017)... PITTSBURGH, PA (PRWEB) , ... September 22, 2017 ... ... as soon as possible, and they often saves lives. However, if one isn’t ... order to widen the availability of defibrillation, I came up with this idea," ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... After a long health ordeal that ... lease on life with assistance from CreditAssociates. CreditAssociates provides debt relief and debt ... debt. The senior is one of the satisfied clients who expressed their appreciation ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... Happy Living’s mission - to improve ... carries it into the entertaining and delicious worlds of theatre and wines. , ... Living) convinced him to turn his play into a book. The Greener The Grass ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com ... by Native Remedies that helps promote pancreatic health and regulate blood sugar ... some prescription-based approaches can have negative side effects, and with the changes in ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... ... brush more effectively even on the go. Their electric toothbrushes aggressively attack oral ... inflammation, with UV sanitizing technology. Combining leading edge Enke technology with a premium ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/12/2017)... , Sept. 12, 2017  Consumer reviews on the independent ... as the number one company for hearing aids, ranking it ... fifteen other brands. ... Hearing Named #1 by Consumers For Hearing Aids ... Embrace Hearing is an online store that provides high performance, ...
(Date:9/7/2017)... 7, 2017  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... streamline operations to more efficiently focus resources on ... structure. Global workforce reductions, including those from a ... impact approximately 3,500 positions. With ... savings of approximately $500 million that will begin ...
(Date:9/7/2017)... , Sept. 7, 2017   BioLife Solutions , ... and marketer of proprietary clinical grade cell and tissue ... announces that Mike Rice , President and CEO, will ... Rodman & Renshaw 19 th Annual ... Eastern time (12:25 p.m. Pacific time). The conference is being ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: