Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


Home > Press > Stealth Particles to Target Tumors

Stealth targeting drug delivery system could also deliver genes or gene fragments in gene therapy

Stealth Particles to Target Tumors

Washington, D.C. | August 31, 2005

Stealth nano particles may some day target tumor cells and deliver medication to specific body locations, according to Penn State chemical engineers.

"Mainly we have focused on chemotherapy drugs," says Dr. Michael Pishko, professor of chemical engineering and materials science and engineering. "But others are considering using this delivery system to deliver genes in gene therapy."

The researchers first produce nano-sized powders of the drug they wish to deliver and encapsulate them in a polymer nanoshell. The drug used for this project was paclitaxel - an anti breast cancer drug and dexamethasone - a steroid frequently used to treat eye inflammation. This shell allows the drug to travel in stealth mode through the bloodstream.

"A layer-by-layer self-assembly technique was used to encapsulate core charged drug nanoparticles in a polymeric nanoshell," the researchers told attendees today (Aug. 31) at the 230th American Chemical Society Meeting, Washington, D.C.

Normally, drugs, especially the toxic drugs used for chemotherapy, trigger the human immune system into action, but, with the polymer shell for protection, these drugs can circulate longer without being removed.

"If the drugs do not trigger an immune response, then lower levels of drug can be used than currently are necessary in chemotherapy," says Pishko.

The researchers, who include Pishko, Alisar Zahr and Cheryl A. Rumbarger, graduate students in chemical engineering, tested their nanoshell in cell culture and found that it had less phagocytosis removal of the drug during a 24-hour period than the unencapsulated drug.

Combined with longer retention in the body, the researchers engineered the nanoparticle shells to target specific cells by attaching a functionalized polymer to the shell. They designed this tentacle-like projection to target a receptor on a tumor cell, or a specific location in the eye, for example. Once the drug arrives via the blood to the tumor or eye, it attaches and slowly releases its contents.

This type of drug delivery system works especially well in such highly vascularized areas such as tumors and the eye, because the drug can travel right up to the target area. Delivery to areas in the brain would not be feasible because of the blood brain barrier that prevents foreign substances from moving from the blood into the cells of the brain.

"For targeting, we could exploit the fact that cancer tumors have a lot more folic acid receptors and target those," says Pishko. "We could also use specific monoclonal antibodies to target specific tumors."

The researchers also considered delivery of drugs to specific type cells, like those in the eye. This type of stealth targeting drug delivery system could also deliver genes or gene fragments in gene therapy.

The National Science Foundation funded this research.

A'ndrea Elyse Messer
Science & Research Information Officer Penn State

Copyright Penn State

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Possible Futures

'Material universe' yields surprising new particle November 28th, 2015

New 'self-healing' gel makes electronics more flexible November 25th, 2015

Nanocarriers may carry new hope for brain cancer therapy: Berkeley Lab researchers develop nanoparticles that can carry therapeutics across the brain blood barrier November 22nd, 2015

Quantum Spin Could Create Unstoppable, One-Dimensional Electron Waves: New theory points the way forward to transform atom-thin materials into powerful conductors November 18th, 2015

Self Assembly

Nanocarriers may carry new hope for brain cancer therapy: Berkeley Lab researchers develop nanoparticles that can carry therapeutics across the brain blood barrier November 22nd, 2015

Light wave technique an advance for optical research November 13th, 2015

One direction: Researchers grow nanocircuitry with semiconducting graphene nanoribbons October 13th, 2015

Making nanowires from protein and DNA September 3rd, 2015


Nanoparticles simplify DNA identification and quantification November 27th, 2015

Scientists 'see' detailed make-up of deadly toxin for the first time: Exciting advance provides hope for developing novel potential method of treating pneumococcal diseases such as bacterial pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia November 25th, 2015

Electric fields remove nanoparticles from blood with ease November 24th, 2015

Production of Nanocapsules Containing Omega-3 Powder in Iran November 24th, 2015


'Material universe' yields surprising new particle November 28th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Discover New Catalyst to Remove Pharmaceutical Compounds from Wastewater November 28th, 2015

RAMAN Spectrometry Makes Characterization of Various Nanostructures Possible November 28th, 2015

Nanoparticles Boost Impact Resistance of Special Type of Polymer November 28th, 2015

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project

Car Brands
Buy website traffic