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Novel 3-D cell culture model shows selective tumour uptake of nanoparticles
Date:9/2/2007

A nanoparticle drug delivery system designed for brain tumour therapy has shown promising tumour cell selectivity in a novel cell culture model devised by scientists at The University of Nottingham. The project, conducted jointly by the Schools of Pharmacy, Biomedical Sciences and Human Development, will be featured in the September issue of the Experimental Biology and Medicine.

Therapy for brain cancers is particularly difficult for a number of reasons, including getting sufficient drug to the tumour and selectivity of drug action. Dr Martin Garnett, Associate Professor of drug delivery at the School of Pharmacy said: We are working on a number of new therapeutic approaches using nanoparticle drug delivery systems. However, understanding and developing these systems requires suitable models for their evaluation.

The nanoparticles used in this study were prepared from a novel biodegradable polymer poly (glycerol adipate). The polymer has been further modified to enhance incorporation of drugs and make the nanoparticles more effective.

Dr Terence Parker, Associate Professor in the School of Biomedical Sciences explained: The interaction of tumour cells with brain cells varies between different tumours and different locations within the brain. Using 3-dimensional culture models is therefore important in ensuring that the behaviour of cells in culture is similar to that seen in real life.

The work was mainly carried out by graduate student Weina Meng who formulated the fluorescently labelled nanoparticles and studied them in a variety of tumour and brain cell cultures. Her early studies showed faster uptake of nanoparticles into tumour cell cultures than normal brain cell cultures grown separately. This selectivity was only seen in 3-dimensional cultures and was the driving force to develop a more complex and representative model.

Tumour cell aggregates have been used as cell culture models of cancer cells for man
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Contact: Dr Martin Garnett
44-011-595-15045
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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