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Stealth Nanoparticles for Long Term in Vivo Drug Treatment - Researchers are trying to trick the body's immune system, and increase the circulation time of nano drug carriers in the blood, with stealth drug nanoparticles that could be fabricated by self-assembling.
Stealth Nanoparticles for Long Term in Vivo Drug Treatment

 

NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Honolulu, HI, United States, 2006/09/25 - Researchers are trying to trick the body's immune system, and increase the circulation time of nano drug carriers in the blood, with stealth drug nanoparticles that could be fabricated by self-assembling..

   
 
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Phagocytosis is a cellular phenomena that describes the process in which phagocytes (specialized cells such as macrophages) destroy viruses and foreign particles in blood. Phagocytes are an important part of the immune system. Unfortunately, phagocytes are also a major limitation for the intravenous delivery of polymeric nanoparticles. The use of such nanoparticles to deliver therapeutic agents is currently being studied as a promising method by which drugs can be effectively targeted to specific cells in the body, such as cancerous cells. Researchers at Penn State are trying to trick the body's immune system, and increase the circulation time of nano drug carriers in the blood, with stealth drug nanoparticles that could be fabricated by self-assembling a shell on the surface of a solid drug core. This research could lead to the possibility of long term drug treatment in vivo.

Nanoparticles become recognizable to the cells of the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS), and are subsequently cleared from circulation by phagocytosis, through a process called opsonization. An opsonin is a proteinaceous molecule that acts as a binding enhancer for the process of phagocytosis. Phagocytic cells express receptors that bind opsonin molecules.

In order to improve the in vivo survival rate of nanoparticles, researchers are therefore trying to engineer a long circulating nanocarrier with a surface that can avoid opsonin adsorption and the subsequent clearance from the body by phagocytic cells.

Dr. Michael V. Pishko, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State, explained the background of his group's research into nanoparticulate drug delivery to Nanowerk: "It has been established that the physicochemical characteristics of a polymeric nanoparticle such as surface charge, size, functional groups, and hydrophilicity can affect its uptake by the cells of the MPS. Previously, it was suggested that a long-circulating, "stealth" carrier could be designed by incorporating hydrophilic polymers on the surface of the polymeric carrier."

Read the full article on the Nanowerk website.

About Nanowerk: Nanowerk is a leading nanotechnology information portal. Apart from its unique Nanomaterial Database™, with over 1,300 products from 90 suppliers, it provides the most complete nanotech events calendar; hundreds of links to universities, labs, researchers, associations, networks and international initiatives involved in nanotechnology; daily news; downloadable reports; and much more. The site includes a daily “Spotlight” section featuring Nanowerk-exclusive reviews and summaries of cutting-edge nanotechnology research by guest authors and Nanowerk editors. Nanowerk also publishes the nanoRISK newsletter – a constructive contribution to the debate about the potential risks of nanotechnology.

By Michael Berger, Copyright 2006 Nanowerk LLC

 
 
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Stealth Nanoparticles for Long Term in Vivo Drug Treatment

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Publisher Contact: Michael Berger - Nanowerk.com 
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