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


Stimuli-responsive drug delivery system prevents transplant rejection
Following a tissue graft transplant-such as that of the face, hand, arm or leg-it is standard for doctors to immediately give transplant recipients immunosuppressant drugs to prevent their body's immune system from rejecting and attacking the new body part.

Scientists detail urgent research agenda to address chronic disease toll
Health care systems that keep HIV patients from dying early in low- and middle-income nations need urgently to be repurposed to treat the chronic diseases that many of these patients now have, experts say.

New Non-Invasive Technique Controls the Size of Molecules Penetrating the Blood-Brain Barrier
A new technique developed by Elisa Konofagou, associate professor of biomedical engineering and radiology at Columbia Engineering, has demonstrated for the first time that the size of molecules penetrating the blood-brain barrier (BBB) can be controlled using acoustic pressure-the pressure of an ultrasound beam-to let specific molecules through.

Curing arthritis in mice
With a new therapeutic product, researchers have managed to cure arthritis in mice for the first time. The scientists are now planning to test the efficacy of the drug in humans.

Surprise discovery could see graphene used to improve health
A chance discovery about the 'wonder material' graphene - already exciting scientists because of its potential uses in electronics, energy storage and energy generation - takes it a step closer to being used in medicine and human health.

New information on transcranial ultrasound therapy
A recent study completed at the University of Eastern Finland provides new information on the limitations and potential new directions for the future development of transcranial ultrasound therapy.

Carnegie Mellon Chemists Create Nanofibers Using Unprecedented New Method
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed a novel method for creating self-assembled protein/polymer nanostructures that are reminiscent of fibers found in living cells.

Antioxidant Biomaterial Promotes Healing
When a foreign material like a medical device or surgical implant is put inside the human body, the body always responds.

Penn researchers successfully alleviate pulmonary inflammation with targeted drug delivery
Pulmonary inflammation can cause shallow breathing and the lungs to become brittle in patients who experience multiple blood transfusions, sepsis, lung surgery and acute lung trauma.

Tiny DNA pyramids enter bacteria easily -- and deliver a deadly payload
Bacterial infections usually announce themselves with pain and fever but often can be defeated with antibiotics - and then there are those that are sneaky and hard to beat.
More Drug Delivery Current Events and Drug Delivery News Articles

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.

Drug Delivery and Targeting: For Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists

Drug Delivery and Targeting: For Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists
by Anya M. Hillery (Editor), Andrew W. Lloyd (Editor), James Swarbrick (Editor)


The advances in biotechnology and molecular biology over recent years have resulted in a large number of novel molecules with the potential to revolutionize the treatment and prevention of disease. However, such potential is severely compromised by significant obstacles to delivery of these drugs in vivo. These obstacles are often so great that effective drug delivery and targeting is now recognized as the key to effective development of many therapeutics. Advanced drug delivery and targeting can offer significant advantages to conventional drugs, such as increased efficiency, convenience, and the potential for line extensions and market expansion. An accessible and easy-to-read textbook, Drug Delivery and Targeting for Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists is the first book to...

Drug Delivery Systems, Third Edition (Pharmacology and Toxicology: Basic and Clinical Aspects)

Drug Delivery Systems, Third Edition (Pharmacology and Toxicology: Basic and Clinical Aspects)
by Vasant V. Ranade (Author), John B. Cannon (Author)


Drug delivery technologies represent a vast, vital area of research and development in pharmaceuticals. The demand for innovative drug delivery systems continues to grow, driving a variety of new developments. Drug Delivery Systems, Third Edition provides a comprehensive review of the latest research and development on drug delivery systems. Coverage includes liposomal, transmucosal, transdermal, oral, polymeric, and monoclonal antibody directed delivery. Each chapter provides a table of marketed and investigational products with numerous practical examples. The book also provides readers with a multitude of possible drug delivery systems that can be used to improve therapeutics, along with global and regulatory perspectives. This third edition contains a chapter on nanoscience and...

Drug Delivery: Principles and Applications

Drug Delivery: Principles and Applications
by Binghe Wang (Author), Teruna J. Siahaan (Author), Richard A. Soltero (Author)


An indispensable tool for those working at the front lines of new drug development
Written for busy professionals at the forefront of new drug development, Drug Delivery gets readers quickly up to speed on both the principles and latest applications in the increasingly important field of drug delivery.
Recent developments in such areas as combinatorial chemistry, proteomics, and genomics have revolutionized researchers' ability to rapidly identify and synthesize new pharmacological compounds. However, delivery-related properties remain a significant reason for clinical trial failures.
Bringing together contributions by leading international experts, Drug Delivery covers the entire field in a systematic but concise way. It begins with an in-depth review of key fundamentals, such...

Engineering Polymer Systems for Improved Drug Delivery

Engineering Polymer Systems for Improved Drug Delivery
by Rebecca A. Bader (Author), David A. Putnam (Author)


Polymers have played a critical role in the rational design and application of drug delivery systems that increase the efficacy and reduce the toxicity of new and conventional therapeutics. Beginning with an introduction to the fundamentals of drug delivery, Engineering Polymer Systems for Improved Drug Delivery explores traditional drug delivery techniques as well as emerging advanced drug delivery techniques. By reviewing many types of polymeric drug delivery systems, and including key points, worked examples and homework problems, this book will serve as a guide to for specialists and non-specialists as well as a graduate level text for drug delivery courses.

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.

Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms and Drug Delivery, Second Edition (Pharmacy Education Series)

Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms and Drug Delivery, Second Edition (Pharmacy Education Series)
by Ram I. Mahato (Author), Ajit S. Narang (Author)


In the second edition of Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms and Drug Delivery the authors integrate aspects of physical pharmacy, biopharmaceuticals, drug delivery, and biotechnology, emphasizing the increased attention that the recent spectacular advances in dosage form design and drug delivery, gene therapy, and nanotechnology have brought to the field. Highlights of the Second Edition: Additional author Ajit S. Narang brings an industrial practitioner perspective with increased focus on pharmacy math and statistics, and powders and granules Reorganized into three parts: Introduction, Physicochemical Principles, and Dosage Forms Chapters on pharmaceutical calculations, compounding principles, and powders and granules provide a complete spectrum of application of pharmaceutical principles...

Drug Delivery in Oncology: From Basic Research to Cancer Therapy

Drug Delivery in Oncology: From Basic Research to Cancer Therapy
by Felix Kratz (Editor), Peter Senter (Editor), Henning Steinhagen (Editor)


In this first authoritative overview on modern cancer chemotherapy 121 international specialists have contributed their experience and recent data for what is likely to become the gold standard in the field.

The authors summarize knowledge gained over the past decade, from basic concepts to successful applications in the clinic, covering active and passive targeting strategies as well as tissue-specific approaches. All current and future targeted delivery systems are discussed, from ligand-based to antibody-based polymer-based systems, right up to micro- and nanoparticulate systems. A special section covers the delivery of nucleic acid therapeutics, such as siRNA, miRNA and antisense nucleotides. In each case, a description of the basic technique is followed by a discussion of the...

Studyguide for Ansel's Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms and Drug Delivery Systems by Allen, Loyd, ISBN 9781451188769

Studyguide for Ansel's Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms and Drug Delivery Systems by Allen, Loyd, ISBN 9781451188769
by Cram101 Textbook Reviews (Author)


Never HIGHLIGHT a Book Again! Includes all testable terms, concepts, persons, places, and events. Cram101 Just the FACTS101 studyguides gives all of the outlines, highlights, and quizzes for your textbook with optional online comprehensive practice tests. Only Cram101 is Textbook Specific. Accompanies: 9781451188769. This item is printed on demand.

© 2014 BrightSurf.com