Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

android tablet pc

Home > Press > Delivering drugs on time and on target

Professor Vladimir Torchilin is using nanotechnology to make drugs more effective.  Photo by Lauren McFalls.
Professor Vladimir Torchilin is using nanotechnology to make drugs more effective. Photo by Lauren McFalls.

Vladimir Torchilin, distinguished professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Northeastern University, recently received a $1.36 million grant from the National Institutes of Health's Cancer Institute to examine a new, nanotechnology-based method of drug development.

Delivering drugs on time and on target

Boston, MA | Posted on February 5th, 2010

Coupling pharmaceutical nanotechnology with a new drug-coating process, this novel technique has the potential to make water-insoluble drugs effective and increase the amount of active drug ingredients in the medication.

"The technique we propose could improve the function of existing drugs and could also produce new therapeutic options for many diseases," said Torchilin, who is the director of Northeastern's Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Nanomedicine, and the principal investigator on the grant.

Water-insoluble drugs have a low efficacy rate because they are poorly absorbed in the body, and can cause blood vessel blockages if injected. These properties have hindered the development of water-insoluble drugs as viable treatment options, leaving thousands of promising therapeutics on the shelf.

To counter these properties, Torchilin together with his collaborators from Louisiana Tech University has applied a layer-by-layer method of coating drug nanoparticles with certain biocompatible polymeric materials. These materials prevent drug precipitation or aggregation into larger particles, enabling the drugs to be injected into the body and travel precisely to the disease target. Additionally, more of the drug's active ingredients reach the target, and can be programmed to release at a specific time.

Torchilin's research on nanocarriers has played a major role in the field of nanomedicine, which is expected to be a $15 trillion industry by 2015. Torchilin likens nanocarriers to trains, delivering precise amounts of drugs to a specific place at a specific time. While en route to their destination — diseased cells — nanocarriers envelop the drugs like a train's boxcars, preventing them from killing healthy cells.

"Cancer drugs need to be delivered inside the cell in order to kill cancer cells, and nanocarriers make that possible," said Torchilin. "There are many potential applications for insoluble drugs, and this new technology will help us explore these options."

The research, now being conducted in vitro (with target cells in a controlled environment), will eventually be tested in mice to investigate its' potential application in humans.

Torchilin is working with Yuri Lvov, professor of micro and nanosystems at Louisiana Tech University.

For more information about Professor Torchilin's research, please visit


About Northeastern University
Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a private research university located in the heart of Boston, and a leader in experiential learning, urban engagement, and in interdisciplinary research that meets global and societal needs. Our broad mix of experience-based education programs — our signature cooperative education program, student research, service learning, and global learning — build the connections and confidence that enable students to transform their lives. The university offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in seven undergraduate colleges, seven graduate schools, and two part-time divisions.

For more information, please click here

Jenny Catherine Eriksen

Copyright © Northeastern University

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

News and information

Raman Whispering Gallery Detects Nanoparticles September 1st, 2014

A new, tunable device for spintronics: An international team of scientists including physicist Jairo Sinova from the University of Mainz realises a tunable spin-charge converter made of GaAs August 29th, 2014

Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014

New Vice President Takes Helm at CNSE CMOST: Catherine Gilbert To Lead CNSE Children’s Museum of Science and Technology Through Expansion And Relocation August 29th, 2014

Possible Futures

Air Force’s 30-year plan seeks 'strategic agility' August 1st, 2014

IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014


Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014

Copper shines as flexible conductor August 29th, 2014

Novel 'butterfly' molecule could build new sensors, photoenergy conversion devices August 28th, 2014

PetLife Comments on CNN Story on Scorpion Venom Health Benefits August 27th, 2014


Raman Whispering Gallery Detects Nanoparticles September 1st, 2014

Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014

New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits August 29th, 2014

New Vice President Takes Helm at CNSE CMOST: Catherine Gilbert To Lead CNSE Children’s Museum of Science and Technology Through Expansion And Relocation August 29th, 2014


Rice physicist emerges as leader in quantum materials research: Nevidomskyy wins both NSF CAREER Award and Cottrell Scholar Award August 20th, 2014

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Receives the 2014 Microscopy Today Innovation Award for blueDrive Photothermal Excitation August 18th, 2014

AQUANOVA receives Technology Leadership Award 2014 FROST & SULLIVAN honors NovaSOL® Technology again August 12th, 2014

Focal blood-brain-barrier disruption with high-frequency pulsed electric fields August 12th, 2014


Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014

The channel that relaxes DNA: Relaxing DNA strands by using nano-channels: Instructions for use August 20th, 2014

Сalculations with Nanoscale Smart Particles August 19th, 2014

Interaction between Drug, DNA for Designing Anticancer Drugs Studied in Iran August 17th, 2014


Leading European communications companies and research organizations have launched an EU project developing the future 5th Generation cellular mobile networks August 28th, 2014

JPK expands availability of instrumentation in the USA – appointing new distributors – launched a new web site to support the US market - AFM now available to US users August 26th, 2014

Sunblock poses potential hazard to sea life August 20th, 2014

SouthWest NanoTechnologies Appoints Matteson-Ridolfi for U.S. Distribution of its SMW™ Specialty Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes August 13th, 2014

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

© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE