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Drug Delivery Technology Cancer Nanotechnology

Potent Drug Delivery Particles Packing A Punch To Cancer

8 months, 1 week ago

1647  0
Posted on Feb 11, 2018, 11 a.m.

With each malignant subtype of cancer responding differently to therapeutics despite the serious herculean efforts cancer remains a most formidable disease dodging the therapeutic punches thrown at it such as solid tumors protective extracellular matrix layer that can prevent chemotherapeutic agents from being able to penetrate to reach to the tumor core. It is now been reported by scientists that cloaking anti-cancer drugs in a specially designed particle they may be able to target and destroy tumor cells that are deep inside of a malignant mass in vitro, as published by the reports in ACS’ Chemistry of Materials.

 

With each malignant subtype of cancer responding differently to therapeutics despite the serious herculean efforts cancer remains a most formidable disease dodging the therapeutic punches thrown at it such as solid tumors protective extracellular matrix layer that can prevent chemotherapeutic agents from being able to penetrate to reach to the tumor core. It is now been reported by scientists that cloaking anti-cancer drugs in a specially designed particle they may be able to target and destroy tumor cells that are deep inside of a malignant mass in vitro, as published by the reports in ACS’ Chemistry of Materials.

 

Some tumors can not be surgically extracted, for these tumors chemotherapy and radiation are the current go to treatments, with both involving some serious side effects due to a lack of specificity such as killing healthy cells along with the malignant ones unfortunately. This collateral damage has been long known, but with thanks to unique blood vessel architecture that surrounds tumors it is possible for nanoparticles to pass into the cancer zone, the process offers up a potential route for the delivery of specific therapy treatments to cancer cells.  Thus far efforts to exploit this phenomenon have all but fallen short with attempts with experimental drug loaded particles not being able to penetrate the dense extracellular matrix or the delivery systems losing the precious payload en route to the tumor interior. Researchers are attempting to address this shortfall by developing a new type of particle.

 

The new type of particle being developed by the researchers is a protocell that is a nanoparticle that has the ability to carve through the problematic protective extracellular matrix layer and deliver the most precious payload of tumor cell killing doses of drugs to the deepest tumor regions.  To develop the protocell delivery system the researchers began with a mesoporous silica skeleton having a high internal surface area that was able to contain and carry a large amount of therapeutic drugs. The skeleton was then surrounded with a lipid bilayer that was outfitted with an array of tools that would help enable the protocell to be able to deliver its payload of drug arsenal to the desired location which includes enzymes that can hack and cleave through collagen which is a huge component of the dense protective extracellular matrix layer of the tumor. The protocell has an added feature of pH sensitive ligands which trigger the release of the drug payload upon entry into the acidic interior of the tumor cell ensuring that the drugs are delivered to the area where they are needed only. Testing of the protocells was conducting in 3D cell culture models of solid tumors showing the ability of the protocells to penetrate and destroy malignant cells better than drug loaded protocells with an enhanced toolkit. This new protocell delivery system has the potential to treat cancer and other diseases with more accuracy and efficiency in the female reproductive tract one day soon.

 

 

 

Materials provided by American Chemical Society.

Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

María Rocío Villegas, Alejandro Baeza, Achraf Noureddine, Paul N. Durfee, Kimberly S. Butler, Jacob Ongudi Agola, C. Jeffrey Brinker, María Vallet-Regí. Multifunctional Protocells for Enhanced Penetration in 3D Extracellular Tumoral Matrices. Chemistry of Materials, 2017; 30 (1): 112 DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b03128

 

 

 

 

 

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