Nanotechnological Delivery System Circumvents Body's Defenses

March 25, 2008
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

In a press release, the University of Texas announced that Mauro Ferrari, of the University?s Health Science Center at Houston, presented a proof-of-concept study of a new multistage delivery system for imaging and therapeutic applications.

Houston, TX (Mar. 2)-In a press release, the University of Texas announced that Mauro Ferrari, of the University’s Health Science Center at Houston, presented a proof-of-concept study of a new multistage delivery system (MDS) for imaging and therapeutic applications. Ferrari described the study in an article featured in the March issue of Nature Nanotechnology.

The multistage strategy provides a means to overcome the body’s natural defenses against foreign objects injected in the bloodstream, according to Ferrari.

The authors of the study explained that the MDS comprises stage-1 mesoporous particles loaded with one or more types of stage-2 nanoparticles, which carry active agents or higher-stage particles, according to the press release. “We have demonstrated the loading, controlled release, and simultaneous in vitro delivery of quantum-dots and carbon nanotubes to human vascular cells,” the authors wrote.

Ferrari’s team is also researching targeted delivery of the MDS. The team is investigating the biochemical modifications required to efficiently deliver the MDS to a specific cancer lesion. “We have preliminary data that show that we can localize a payload of diagnostic agents, therapeutic agents, or a combination of both to target cells,” Ferrari said in the release. “Once on site, the molecules can be released in a controlled way, and then the MDS will degrade in 24–48 h, be transformed into orthosilicic acid, and leave no trace in the body.”

The MDS technique could be applied to improve the efficacy of injectable drugs. Nanotechnology can be harnessed to design and engineer novel drug-delivery systems and to predict how they will work inside the body.

The study, “Mesoporous Silicon Particles as a Multistage Delivery System for Imaging and Therapeutic Applications,” was conducted by researchers from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Rice University.