Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Developing a modular, nanoparticle drug delivery system

October 08, 2007

There are two aspects to creating an effective drug: finding a chemical compound that has the desired biological effect and minimal side-effects and then delivering it to the right place in the body for it to do its job.

With the support from a $478,000, five-year CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, Eva Harth is tackling the second part of this problem. She is creating a modular, multi-functional drug delivery system that promises simultaneously to enhance the effectiveness and reduce undesirable side-effects of a number of different drugs.

(NSF's Faculty Early Career Development awards are the agency's most prestigious honor for junior faculty members and are given to individuals judged most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century.)

Harth, who is an assistant professor of chemistry at Vanderbilt University, has created a "nanosponge" specially designed to carry large numbers of drug molecules. She has also discovered a "molecular transporter" that, when attached to the nanosponge, carries it and its cargo across biological barriers into specific intracellular compartments, which are very difficult places for most drugs to reach. She has shown that her system can reach another difficult target: the brain. Experiments have shown that it can pass through the brain-blood barrier. In addition, she has: successfully attached a special "targeting unit" that delivers drugs to the surface of tumors in the lungs, brain and spinal cord and even developed a "light kit" for her delivery system - fluorescent tags that researchers can use to monitor where it goes.

Harth has taken a different approach from other researchers working on nanotechnology for drug development. Instead of trying to encapsulate drugs in nanoscale containers, she decided to create a nanoparticle that had a large number of surface sites where drug molecules could be attached. To do so, she adopted a method that uses extensive internal cross-linking to scrunch a long, linear molecule into a sphere about 10 nanometers in diameter, about the size of a protein. Nanoparticles like this are called nanosponges.

"We can really load this up with a large number of drug molecules," she says.

Working with Heidi Hamm, the Earl W. Sutherland Jr. Professor of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt, Harth synthesized a dendritic molecule with the ability to slip through cell membranes and reach the cell nucleus. They figured out how to attach this "transporter" to her nanoparticle and showed that the transporter can pull the nanoparticle after it into cellular compartments. They also demonstrated that the transporter can deliver large molecules - specifically peptides and proteins - into specific sub-cellular locations.

"Peptides and proteins can act as drugs, just like smaller molecules," Harth says. "However, there is not much activity in this area because people haven't had a method for getting them into cells. Now that there is a way to do it, but that may change."

Hamm studies G proteins, arguably the most important signaling molecules in the cell. Scientists think that many diseases, including diabetes and certain forms of pituitary cancer, are caused by malfunctioning G proteins. She and Harth are collaborating on using the transporter to deliver peptides produced by G proteins that disrupt signaling pathways.

"Eva's methods for drug delivery are very novel and versatile and can be adapted to delivery of proteins, peptides, DNA and smaller chemical compounds like most drugs. The breadth of applications makes her technology very powerful," Hamm says.

The chemist is also collaborating with Dennis E. Hallahan, professor of radiation oncology at Vanderbilt, to apply the drug delivery system to fighting cancer. Hallahan's lab had identified a molecule that targets a surface feature on lung carcinomas. Harth took the molecule, improved it, attached it to her nanoparticle and the two of them determined that the combination is capable of delivering drugs to the surface of lung tumors.

She is now working with Hallahan to adapt her delivery system to carry cisplatinum, a traditional chemotherapy agent that is used to treat a number of different kinds of cancer but is highly toxic and has a number of unpleasant side effects.

By delivering the anti-cancer agent directly to the cancerous tissues, Eva's system decreases the adverse effects on other tissues and increases its potency by delivering a higher concentration of the drug directly on the cancer, Hallahan explains.

"The people in my lab have tried at a number of different drug delivery systems and Eva's works the best of those we've looked at," Hallahan says.

Vanderbilt is applying for two patents on the system.

Vanderbilt University


Related Drug Delivery Current Events and Drug Delivery News Articles


Nanoscale Trojan horses treat inflammation
Nanosized Trojan horses created from a patient's own immune cells have successfully treated inflammation by overcoming the body's complex defense mechanisms, perhaps leading to broader applications for treating diseases characterized by inflammation, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Two-stage nanoparticle delivery of piperlongumine and TRAIL anti-cancer therapy
A team of researchers from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York demonstrated a drug delivery mechanism that utilizes two independent vehicles, allowing for delivery of chemically and physically dis-tinct agents.

USC study finds blindness and visual impairment will double by 2050
A study published today by researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) Roski Eye Institute in JAMA Ophthalmology found that the U.S. prevalence in visual impairment (VI) and blindness is expected to double over the next 35 years.

Is an insulin pump the best therapy for everyone with type 1 diabetes?
Insulin pump therapy contributes to better blood glucose control in type 1 diabetes and, as pump technology continues to improve and become part of sensor-controlled feedback and artificial pancreas systems, essentially all patients would benefit from their capabilities according to a Commentary published in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics (DTT).

Dynamic DNA polymers can be reversed using biocompatible techniques
DNA-based straight and branched polymers or nanomaterials that can be created and dissolved using biocompatible methods are now possible thanks to the work of Penn State biomedical engineers.

Effect of the Van-der-Waals and intramolecular forces
In modern microelectronics, nanobiotechnology, nanorobots increasingly have being used both organic biomacromolecules and fragments, as nucleotides, peptides, DNA, and inorganic elements, like as metallic nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes.

New drug-delivery approach holds potential for treating obesity
Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed nanoparticles that can deliver antiobesity drugs directly to fat tissue.

Using oxygen to sterilize medical implants could save time and money
International researchers led by the University of Bath have demonstrated a cheap, effective and environmentally-friendly way to sterilise medical implants without changing their properties, in contrast to some techniques.

Clay nanotube-biopolymer composite scaffolds for tissue engineering
The fabrication of a prototype tissue having functional properties close to the natural ones is crucial for effective transplantation.

Implantable device targets pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, in part because it is very difficult for chemotherapy drugs to reach the pancreas, which is located deep within the abdomen.
More Drug Delivery Current Events and Drug Delivery News Articles

Drug Delivery: Principles and Applications (Wiley Series in Drug Discovery and Development)

Drug Delivery: Principles and Applications (Wiley Series in Drug Discovery and Development)
by Binghe Wang (Author), Longqin Hu (Author), Teruna J. Siahaan (Author)


Following its successful predecessor, this book covers the fundamentals, delivery routes and vehicles, and practical applications of drug delivery. In the 2nd edition, almost all chapters from the previous are retained and updated and several new chapters added to make a more complete resource and reference. • Helps readers understand progress in drug delivery research and applications
• Updates and expands coverage to reflect advances in materials for delivery vehicles, drug delivery approaches, and therapeutics
• Covers recent developments including transdermal and mucosal delivery, lymphatic system delivery, theranostics
• Adds new chapters on nanoparticles, controlled drug release systems, theranostics, protein and peptide drugs, and biologics...

Drug Delivery

Drug Delivery
by Ashim K. Mitra (Author), Deep Kwatra (Author), Aswani Dutt Vadlapudi (Author)


Drug Delivery is the latest and most up-to-date text on drug delivery and offers an excellent working foundation for students and clinicians in health professions and graduate students including nursing, pharmacy, medicine, and dentistry, as well as researchers and scientists. Presenting complex content in an organized and concise format, this accessible text provides a detailed overview of drug delivery systems, routes of drug administration and development of various formulations. This text provides a comprehensive review of the cutting edge research being carried out in this field and a focus on the worldwide research on drug delivery and targeting at the molecular, cellular, and organ levels. KEY TOPICS CNS delivery Gene delivery Ocular delivery World-wide research on drug delivery...

Drug Delivery: Engineering Principles for Drug Therapy (Topics in Chemical Engineering)

Drug Delivery: Engineering Principles for Drug Therapy (Topics in Chemical Engineering)
by W. Mark Saltzman (Author)


Synthetic materials are a tremendous potential resource for treating human disease. For the rational design of many of these biomaterials it is necessary to have an understanding of polymer chemistry and polymer physics. Equally important to those two fields is a quantitative understanding of the principles that govern rates of drug transport, reaction, and disappearance in physiological and pathological situations. This book is a synthesis of these principles, providing a working foundation for those in the field of drug delivery. It covers advanced drug delivery and contemporary biomaterials.


Ansel's Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms and Drug Delivery Systems

Ansel's Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms and Drug Delivery Systems
by Loyd Allen (Author)


Succeed in your course with the most comprehensive source on pharmaceutical dosage forms and drug delivery systems available today. Reflecting the CAPE, APhA, and NAPLEX® competencies, this trusted resource covers physical pharmacy, pharmacy practice, pharmaceutics, compounding, and dosage forms and the clinical application of the various dosing forms in patient care. The 10th edition features a dynamic new full color design, new coverage of prescription flavoring, and additional coverage of expiration dates.   See pharmaceutical concepts in action through the two case studies (one pharmaceutical and one clinical) in each dosing forms chapter. Practice applying material using the group and individual activities in Applying the Principles and Concepts sections...

Ansel's Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms and Drug Delivery Systems

Ansel's Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms and Drug Delivery Systems
by Loyd V. Allen Jr. PhD (Editor), Nicholas G. Popovich PhD (Editor), Howard C. Ansel PhD (Editor)


Long established as a core text for pharmaceutics courses, this book is the most comprehensive source on pharmaceutical dosage forms and drug delivery systems. Content coincides with the CAPE, APhA, and NAPLEX® competencies. This edition includes updated drug information and has an increased focus on physical pharmacy. Coverage incorporates all new dosage forms on the market as well as those in the current US Pharmacopoeia-National Formulary. Updated photos are included. An "Applying the Principles and Concepts" section at the end of each chapter provides activities for the application of the material. A companion website includes the fully searchable text and a quiz bank with more than 200 questions written in NAPLEX® format.

Lipid-Based Nanocarriers for Drug Delivery and Diagnosis (Micro and Nano Technologies)

Lipid-Based Nanocarriers for Drug Delivery and Diagnosis (Micro and Nano Technologies)
by Muhammad Raza Shah (Author), Muhammad Imran (Author), Shafi Ullah (Author)


Lipid-Based Nanocarriers for Drug Delivery and Diagnosis explores the present state of widely used lipid-based nanoparticulate delivery systems, such as solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN), nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC), nanoliposomes, micelles, nanoemulsions, nanosuspensions and lipid nanotubes. The various types of lipids that can be exploited for drug delivery and their chemical composition and physicochemical characteristics are reviewed in detail, along with their characterization aspects and effects of their dimensions on drug delivery systems behavior in-vitro and in-vivo. The book covers the effective utilization of these lipids based systems for controlled and targeted delivery of potential drugs/genes for enhanced clinical efficacy. Provides the present state of widely used...

Drug Delivery: Fundamentals and Applications, Second Edition

Drug Delivery: Fundamentals and Applications, Second Edition
by Anya M Hillery (Editor), Kinam Park (Editor)


This book provides a comprehensive introduction to advanced drug delivery and targeting, covering their principles, current applications, and potential future developments. This edition has been updated to reflect significant trends and cutting-edge advances that have occurred since the first edition was published. All the original chapters have been retained, but the material therein has been updated. Eight new chapters have been added that deal with entirely new technologies and approaches.

Inhalation Drug Delivery: Techniques and Products

Inhalation Drug Delivery: Techniques and Products
by Paolo Colombo (Editor), Daniela Traini (Editor), Francesca Buttini (Editor)


There has been a rapid evolution in the field of inhalation drug therapy, including new drugs, increased regulation and quality control, and strong pressure from generics. Inhalation Drug Therapy brings together the most current inhalation drug research, as well as practical developments and processes, into one essential guide. Focusing on inhalation products and specific equipment and techniques used in manufacturing and quality control, the book balances research with the industrial aspects of creating the drugs, and features a highly regarded author team with both academic and industry experience.

Nonclinical Drug Administration: Formulations, Routes and Regimens for Solving Drug Delivery Problems in Animal Model Systems

Nonclinical Drug Administration: Formulations, Routes and Regimens for Solving Drug Delivery Problems in Animal Model Systems
by Shayne C. Gad (Author)


The concept of the perfect medicine as a molecule that goes with high selectivity to the therapeutic target site, does what it needs to do, and is subsequently cleared from the body is especially relevant now. Much of the current costs and post-market safety concerns arise from the inability to achieve adequate concentrations and selectivity in the due course of actually delivering the active drug. Providing an integrated approach, this book presents ways of achieving the desired adequate and selective delivery using the currently available technology in three tool sets: route, regimen, and formulation.

Oral Controlled Release Formulation Design and Drug Delivery: Theory to Practice

Oral Controlled Release Formulation Design and Drug Delivery: Theory to Practice
by Hong Wen (Editor), Kinam Park (Editor)


This book describes the theories, applications, and challenges for different oral controlled release formulations. This book differs from most in its focus on oral controlled release formulation design and process development. It also covers the related areas like preformulation, biopharmaceutics, in vitro-in vivo correlations (IVIVC), quality by design (QbD), and regulatory issues.

© 2017 BrightSurf.com