Nanoparticles for controlled drug release

Jun 13, 2013

Scientists from CIC bioGUNE and the Laboratoire de Chimie des Polymères Organiques (LCPO) in Bordeaux have jointly undertaken a project to develop "smart" nanoparticles. These polymeric particles act as "nanomissiles" against pre-determined targets and allow the drug to be released in a spatially and temporally controlled manner, only releasing their "load" where it is needed. Release of the medication is controlled by applying a localised magnetic field.

Chemists from the LCPO were responsible for generating the nanoparticles, which are approximately the same size as a virus, whereas researchers from CIC bioGUNE were responsible for assessing their efficacy in a cell culture model. This study has been published this week in the Journal of Controlled Release.

The technique developed increases treatment efficacy as it allows the medication to be deposited directly in the affected organ, thereby minimising side effects in other organs. The side effects of any generally arise due to the toxic effects of the drugs administered on healthy tissue (for example hair loss). Indeed, these side effects often mean that the cannot be used as it would be far too toxic for the patient.

The system developed by the LCPO/CIC bioGUNE team should allow the drug to be released inside the organ when required. The nanoparticles used to transport the medication are -containing polymers. As such, a series of "pores" on the surface of the polymer open up when a is applied, thus releasing the drug.

This localised release of the medication should reduce its effect on healthy tissue and may mean that the dose received by can be increased. The benefits of this method are therefore decreased side effects and increased treatment efficacy. In the words of the CIC bioGUNE researcher Edurne Berra, "application of a localised magnetic field allows release of the drug and increases its on cancer cells".

This work has used doxorubicin, a drug widely used in anti-cancer chemotherapy, as a model. However, its conclusions are likely to be simply the starting point for the development of new, smart release systems for other drugs.

Furthermore, as also noted by Dr. Berra, "the system studied should allow drugs other than doxorubicin to be encapsulated, and it may even prove possible to add molecules that recognise a specific type of cancer cell. It may also find a use for the magnetic resonance-based diagnosis of cancer and even for theragnosis, in other words simultaneous diagnosis and therapy".

Explore further: Research offers promising new approach to treatment of lung cancer

More information: Oliveira, H. et al. Magnetic field triggered drug release from polymersomes for cancer therapeutics, Journal of Controlled Release. Volume 169, Issue 3, 10 August 2013, Pages 165–170. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168365913000308

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Taking the fight into the enemy's territory

May 29, 2013

(Phys.org) —German researchers have developed a scheme for the preparation of nanoparticles that offer a highly versatile system for targeted drug delivery directly into diverse types of tumor cells.

Controlled and targeted release of drugs

Jan 28, 2013

(Phys.org)—Researchers have discovered a method that allows for the controlled release of an active agent on the basis of a magnetic nanovehicle. The research, conducted by EPFL, the Adolphe Merkle Institute ...

Under the influence of magnetic drugs

May 31, 2012

(Phys.org) -- For more than three decades scientists have been investigating magnetic nanoparticles as a method of drug delivery. Now by combining three metals - iron, gold and platinum - pharmacists at the ...

Fat gives nanoparticles a fighting chance

Jul 27, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Inhalable and thermo-responsive, fat-encased nanoparticles have been developed by researchers at the University of Sydney as possible treatment for lung cancer.

Recommended for you

Innovative strategy to facilitate organ repair

Apr 18, 2014

A significant breakthrough could revolutionize surgical practice and regenerative medicine. A team led by Ludwik Leibler from the Laboratoire Matière Molle et Chimie (CNRS/ESPCI Paris Tech) and Didier Letourneur ...

Physicists create new nanoparticle for cancer therapy

Apr 16, 2014

A University of Texas at Arlington physicist working to create a luminescent nanoparticle to use in security-related radiation detection may have instead happened upon an advance in photodynamic cancer therapy.

User comments : 0

More news stories

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.