Navigation Links
UNC study: shape, not just size, impacts effectiveness of emerging nanomedicine therapies
Date:8/4/2008

CHAPEL HILL In the budding field of nanotechnology, scientists already know that size does matter.

But now, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have shown that shape matters even more a finding that could lead to new and more effective methods for treating cancer and other diseases, from diabetes and multiple sclerosis to arthritis and obesity.

A team of researchers led by Joseph DeSimone, Ph.D., Chancellor's Eminent Professor of Chemistry in UNC's College of Arts and Sciences and William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University, and Stephanie Gratton, a graduate student in DeSimone's lab, have demonstrated that nanoparticles designed with a specific shape, size and surface chemistry are taken up into cells and behave differently within cells depending on these attributes.

Their findings appear in this week's online early edition of the journal PNAS, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Using nanoparticles to combat cancer is an area of interest for many researchers. For decades, treating the disease has mostly involved injecting patients with toxic drugs a practice in which only a fraction of the drugs reach the intended target, killing healthy cells in the process and causing harmful side effects.

Previous studies have shown that drug-carrying nanoparticles can hone-in on and attack tumors, in part because of their extremely small size less than 100 nanometers (one nanometer = one billionth of a meter) which helps allow them to pass through cell membranes. However, up until now, existing techniques have meant that targeting agents could only be delivered using spherical or granular shaped particles.

Using PRINT (Particle Replication in Non-wetting Templates) technology a technique invented in DeSimone's lab that allows scientists to design and produce "custom-made" nanoparticles the UNC researchers made particles with specific shapes, sizes and surface charges. DeSimone said the aim is to optimize particle attributes for specific therapeutic objectives.

"This would mean that we could deliver lower dosages of drugs to specific cells and tissues in the body and actually be more effective in treating the cancer," said DeSimone, who is also a member of UNC's Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the co-principal investigator for the Carolina Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence.

Creating particles of different dimensions, the UNC researchers changed one variable at a time, and experimented with different surface chemistries. They then incubated the different particles with human cervical carcinoma epithelial (HeLa) cells, monitoring each type to see which ones the cells absorbed most effectively.

For instance, the scientists discovered that long, rod-shaped particles (diameter, 150 nanometers; height, 450 nanometers) were internalized by cells approximately four times faster than lower aspect ratio particles (diameter, 200 nanometers; height, 200 nanometers), and traveled significantly further into the cells as well.

Gratton noted the same phenomenon is found in natural organisms.

"The long rod-shaped structure of bacteria may help explain why PRINT particles of higher aspect ratios are internalized more rapidly and effectively than lower aspect ratio particles," she said. "If we can design particles that rely on the same mechanisms that nature has perfected for bacteria, we may unlock the key for delivering therapeutics more efficiently and effectively to treat and cure disease."

Liquidia Technologies, a UNC spin-off company, has an exclusive license to the PRINT technology and is developing engineered nanoparticles for delivery of nucleic acids and small molecule therapeutics. Liquidia also sponsors research in the DeSimone lab. The company's chief executive officer, Neal Fowler, said the study's findings should prove of interest to the biopharmaceutical industry.

"We are delighted to contribute to the important work that Professor DeSimone and his students are undertaking in the field of nanomedicine. This work answers key questions about the role of particle shape and size that industry leaders have been asking for some time," Fowler said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Patric Lane
patric_lane@unc.edu
919-962-8596
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study: verbal aggression may affect childrens behavior
2. UNC study: Common vaginal infection may increase risk of HIV infection
3. Brain cancer study: Magnitude of post-vaccine immune response linked to clinical outcomes
4. UNC study: Out-of-pocket health care costs for disabled children vary widely by state
5. Study: Global Business Performance Significantly Improved Through Project Management
6. Geisinger study: PTSD causes early death from heart disease
7. Study: 9/11 Dogs Suffered Few Health Effects
8. Study: Medicare Competitive Bidding Program Could Impede Seniors Access to Diabetes Testing Supplies
9. New NV Economic Study: Bush Medicare Cuts Undermine State and Local Economic, Jobs Base
10. Pharmaceutical study: Less hemorrhaging after stroke, but not fewer deaths
11. New PA Economic Study: Bush Medicare Cuts Compound State Medicaid Crisis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever ... Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation ... as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping ... fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness ... size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking ... American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical ... effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the ... Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We ... new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and ... their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards took ... the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to receive ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Any dentist who has made ... the current process. Many of them do not even offer ... difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE ... at such a high cost that the majority of today,s ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization ... in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical trial (Halt ... its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the trial to ... 2016, and to report top line data from ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... and BOGOTA, Colombia , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma ... as the company,s second affiliate in Latin America . ... ... Astellas Farma Colombia ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: