Wrinkled membranes create novel drug-delivery system

Feb 13, 2006

A University of Illinois scientist studying how membranes wrinkle has discovered a novel system for on-demand drug delivery.

Sahraoui Chaieb, a professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, has created temperature-sensitive capsules that can release drugs on demand. The capsules, which can range in size from 10 to 100 microns, can be tuned to deliver drugs at different rates. Chaieb reports his findings in the Feb. 17 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters.

To make the capsules, Chaieb begins by confining a drug inside lipid bilayer membranes. Some of the lipids are then "sewn together" through a polymerization process. Cooling the capsules by 10 degrees Celsius causes the capsules to crumple and collapse like deflated beach balls, releasing the drug.

"The release rate can be controlled by the amount of wrinkling that occurs," said Chaieb, who also is a professor of bioengineering and a researcher at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. "And the amount of wrinkling is dependent upon the degree of membrane polymerization that took place."

One problem that remains is how to cool the capsules without harming the surrounding tissue. The solution, Chaieb said, might lie in newly discovered nanoparticles that can be chilled through magnetic cooling.

Chaieb and colleagues at Illinois are exploring ways to coat the capsules with the nanoparticles. When exposed to a magnetic field, the nanoparticles would cool down and remove heat from the capsules. The capsules would then wrinkle and release the drug.

Source: University of Illinois

Explore further: New Hampshire bill requires cursive, multiplication tables

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New Hampshire bill requires cursive, multiplication tables

6 hours ago

As schools adopt new education standards and rely more on computers in the classroom, a group of New Hampshire senators want to make sure the basics of learning cursive and multiplication tables don't get left behind.

Eastern Oregon dig uncovers ancient stone tool

7 hours ago

Archaeologists have uncovered a stone tool at an ancient rock shelter in the high desert of eastern Oregon that could turn out to be older than any known site of human occupation in western North America.

Professor takes madness out of the month

11 hours ago

With the NCAA Men's and Women's Basketballl Tournaments tipping off soon, brackets and bubble-busters are reaching a fever pitch. Dr. Jay Coleman, the Richard deRaismes Kip Professor of Operations Management and Quantitative ...

Seven strategies to advance women in science

13 hours ago

Despite the progress made by women in science, engineering, and medicine, a glance at most university directories or pharmaceutical executive committees tells the more complex story. Women in science can ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.