Because nanoparticles are so different in scale from other drugs on the market, drugmakers will need a way to make them in bulk and at a low cost, though still highly specific in form and function. To that end, researchers have developed a technique for making 3-D structures at the nanoscale, offering repeatable production that is also relatively inexpensive.
Researchers at Harvard University have demonstrated that a nonsurgical injection of programmable biomaterial can assemble in vivo into a 3-D structure to attack cancer cells and help to prevent other infectious diseases such as HIV.
Combining diagnostics and drug delivery is an ideal progression to improve the effectiveness and speed of treatment and a way to make drugs "smarter." To make one of these two-in-one systems, Singapore-based researchers developed a new biomarker that lights up to locate tumors and releases cancer drugs at the same time.
The optimal size of nanoparticles is 50 nanometers, smaller than the 100- to 200-nm ones deployed today, concludes a study by University of Illinois researchers.
Scientists in Spain have now developed small particles with the ability to encapsulate growth factors when implanted in the brain, which could ultimately reverse the effects of these diseases by spurring the growth of new, healthy neurons.
Researchers at NC State University and the University of North Carolina have developed a DNA-based delivery vehicle capable of acting as a Trojan horse in cancer cells. Using DNA as a cage instead of synthetic materials makes the vehicle less toxic to healthy cells and allows for the attachment of precise targeting mechanisms.
A team from the Singapore-based Agency for Science, Technology and Research has found that a component of green tea has the potential to act as a nano-sized drug delivery vehicle to encapsulate proteins used to fight cancer.
Researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Japan have developed what they call a nanosheet that is capable of holding drugs and is also reproducible for a number of different treatments.
Finding the right delivery vehicle for a drug, one that will let the drug reach its full potential, is an invaluable prospect. And now MIT engineers have developed a way to test these vehicles quickly in vivo to determine which of them will be most efficient in delivering its payload.
A Purdue University team has created a new chip that promises to help test how cancer-killing nanoparticles react in a tumor environment. Because different nanoparticles perform vastly different functions in drug delivery, it's important to determine early on what kind of effect they will have on a tumor and what it would take to improve their outcome.