Nanoscale drug-delivery capsules that release their therapeutic cargo when triggered by a temperature change could boost the efficacy and reduce the side effects of many drugs.
Researchers at RIKEN have combined lipids and peptides to create capsules with temperature-responsive controlled release behavior (Journal of the American Chemical Society, “Spontaneous formation of gating lipid domain in uniform-size peptide vesicles for controlled release”). The hybrid capsules combine the advantages of each material to enhance both capsule stability and controlled release.
Although many experimental drug-delivery capsules, or ‘vesicles’, have been developed recently, several hurdles still have to be overcome before they can be widely used in the real world, explains Motoki Ueda from the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science, who co-led the study alongside Yoshihiro Ito.
“Some of the problems that still need to be solved include low stability, short circulation times in the bloodstream, controlled drug release and poor targeting of tissue,” Ueda says. “I’m convinced that soft materials can overcome these problems.”
Lipid assemblies are soft materials that have many advantages as drug-delivery vesicles, including the ability to self-assemble, biocompatibility, biodegradation, phase transitions at useful temperatures and the ability to fuse to cell membranes. But vesicles made purely from lipids are too fragile to withstand for long the physical stresses encountered when traveling through the bloodstream.
Now, Ito, Ueda and their colleagues have created high-stability, drug-delivery vesicles by combining lipids with peptides—another soft material that has the ability to self-assemble. The hybrid vesicles consisted mainly of a tough peptide material interspersed with small patches of lipid.
“The peptide-rich areas make the hybrid vesicles highly stable,” says Ueda. The hybrid vesicles are more stable than lipid vesicles, retaining their shape and structural integrity when stored for a month at 4 degrees Celsius. “On the other hand, the lipid domain underwent a phase change from gel to liquid crystal.”
Image Credit: Alfred Pasieka
News This Week
Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston Massachusetts will soon begin Phase I trials of a nasal vaccine designed to prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD), a press release said. This is the [...]
Nanocomposites are a class of nanomaterials, where one or more nanostructured materials (organic/inorganic) are incorporated in metal, polymer, or ceramic to obtain a new material with many unique properties. Nanocomposites are applied in various [...]
Pfizer – updated version of vaccine ‘ready in 100 days’ if the new Omicron resistant to its current vaccine
Pfizer said it will be able to manufacture and distribute an updated version of its COVID-19 vaccine within 100 days if the new variant Omicron is found to be resistant to its current vaccine. [...]
UK places South Africa on red travel list over B.1.1.529 variant picked up by scientists in country. What is the new variant and why is it a concern? Scientists have detected a new Covid-19 [...]
The B.1.1.529 variant was first spotted in Botswana and six cases have been found in South Africa. Scientists have said a new Covid variant that carries an “extremely high number” of mutations may drive [...]
Scientists are building a new super-resolution microscope that uses laser light to study the inner workings and behaviours of superbugs to gain new insights into how they cause disease. The microscope will allow scientists [...]
Cells can produce unique electrical signals. These signals can be linked to various cancers, such as the breast, lung, liver, brain, pancreas and prostate cancers, meaning that they can be used as indicators for [...]
Conventional microscopes produce enlarged images of small structures or objects with the help of light. Nanoparticles, however, are so small that they hardly absorb or scatter light and, hence, remain invisible. Optical resonators increase [...]
To grow and spread, cancer cells must evade the immune system. Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital and MIT used the power of nanotechnology to discover a new way that cancer can disarm its [...]
The creation of nanoscale computers for use in precision health care has long been a dream of many scientists and health care providers. Now, for the first time, researchers at Penn State have produced [...]
Liposomes may be the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic. Without the protection of these microscopic vesicles, the delicate strands of messenger RNA (mRNA) that lie at the heart of the Pfizer and Moderna [...]
London: Drugmaker Pfizer has signed a deal with a UN-backed group to allow other manufacturers to make its experimental COVID-19 pill, a move that could make the treatment available to more than half of the [...]