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April 15th, 2009
Researchers from California and Massachusetts have come up with a new type of non-toxic nanoparticle (NP) that is efficiently broken down and excreted by the kidneys once it has delivered its drug cargo to the target organ [Park, et al., Nat. Mater. (2009), doi: 10.1038/nmat2398].
There is already a significant amount of research on drug delivery using NPs, but some of these systems suffer from major drawbacks, such as the body's immediate rejection of NPs before they can deliver their payload, or biodegradability and toxicity of the NPs or their by-products. However, the use of NPs for drug delivery remains of major interest because these small bodies have some exceptional properties. NPs have a large specific capacity for loading drugs, they are easily detected while they are in the body, and they are retained by the blood stream long enough for them to reach their target and offload the drug.
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