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Nanomedicine system engineered to enhance therapeutic effects of injectable drugs
Date:3/3/2008

HOUSTON - (March 2, 2008) - In an article featured on the cover of the March issue of Nature Nanotechnology, Mauro Ferrari, Ph.D., of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston presented a proof-of-concept study on a new multistage delivery system (MDS) for imaging and therapeutic applications. This discovery could go a long way toward making injectable drugs more effective. The study is included in the March 2 Advance Online Publication on Nature Nanotechnologys Web site (http://www.nature.com/nnano/index.html)

This is next generation nanomedicine, said Ferrari, the senior author. Now, were engineering sophisticated nanostructures to elude the bodys natural defenses, locate tumors and other diseased cells, and release a payload of therapeutics, contrasting agents, or both over a controlled period. Its the difference between riding a bicycle and a motorcycle.

The study - Mesoporous silicon particles as a multistage delivery system for imaging and therapeutic applications - was conducted with researchers from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and Rice University.

Nanotechnology offers new and powerful tools to design and to engineer novel drug delivery systems and to predict how they will work once inside the body. The field of therapeutic nanoparticles began with tiny drug-encapsulated fat bubbles called liposomes, now commonly used in cancer clinics worldwide. Targeting molecules were later added to liposomes and other nanovectors to assist in directing them to diseased cells, Ferrari said.

Getting intravenous agents to their intended targets is no easy task. Its estimated that approximately one of every 100,000 molecules of agent reaches its desired destination. Physicians are faced with the quandary of increasing the dosage, which can lead to side effects or reducing the dosage, which can limit the therapeutic benefits.

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Contact: Robert Cahill
Robert.Cahill@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-3030
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert  

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