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Self-assembling nano vehicles set to revolutionize drug delivery

June 8, 2011 - Washington

A newly nano-sized device developed by a team of researchers including one of Indian-origin, is revolutionizing medicine by improving drug solubility and bio-distribution, and becoming likely to play an increasing role in the design of next generation nanoscale carriers of drug and imaging agents.

The study by researchers from Duke University and the University of Southern California covers two classes of self-assembled, nanoscale medical delivery devices currently used to transport drugs and also imaging materials across physiological barriers that they, acting by themselves, would be unable to cross.

"Nanoscale self-assembly devices are complex structures organized from simpler subcomponents - either naturally occurring or engineered - which assume complex structures difficult to attain by chemical synthesis," said the paper's corresponding author Dr. Ashutosh Chilkoti, professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University.

"Their disassociation can be triggered by external stimuli, which serve as mechanisms to release therapeutic payloads," he said.

Engineered self-assemblies used in nanomedicine come in over five groups of structural shapes, including the micellar nanostructure.

"We have recently developed a novel strategy that utilizes micelles self-assembled from recombinant polypeptides after attaching doxorubicin, a cancer drug, to deliver the drug," Chilkoti said.

The study is published in the current technology and innovation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors.


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