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No Carrier Necessary: This Drug Delivers Itself

ndra Pandey, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Biophysical Sciences at RPCI and a co-author on the paper.

"This is a case where the easiest formulation works the best," added Indrajit Roy, Ph.D., UB research assistant professor of chemistry and another co-author.

The researchers found that because HPPH is amphiphillic, i.e., partially soluble in water and oil, nanocrystals of it will self-assemble, that is, in solution the molecules aggregate, but not into such big clusters that they settle to the bottom.

"It's a controlled formation of a colloidally stable suspension of nanosized crystals," explained Tymish Ohulchanskyy, Ph.D., UB senior research scientist and a co-author.

The researchers originally were investigating nanocrystals as a delivery method for hydrophobic dyes in bioimaging applications, another promising use for nanocrystals that they continue to pursue.

Further in vivo studies with HPPH nanocrystals are being conducted by scientists at UB and RPCI, including Pandey and Allan R. Oseroff, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the department of dermatology at RPCI and in UB's School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The UB/RPCI team is exploring the use of the same technique for delivering other hydrophobic drugs, including those used in chemotherapy.

Additional co-authors on the paper are Koichi Baba, Ph.D., former postdoctoral research associate in the UB Department of Chemistry, and Yihui Chen, Ph.D., postdoctoral research associate at RPCI.

The nanocrystal research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the John R. Oishei Foundation and UB's New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences with additional support from RPCI.

In related work, the UB researchers have achieved improved depth penetration of HPPH using two-photon photodynamic therapy, research that recently was published in the Journal of the American Chemical
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