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Bone marrow, the spongy, flexible tissue found in the center of bones, is essential for the production of blood cells. There are multiple diseases and infections that involve the bone marrow, but current strategies to treat these disorders involve intravenous delivery of drugs are not specifically targeted to the diseased marrow. The healthy cells in the body are also affected, leading to toxic side effects. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop targeted drug delivery strategies to diseased cells in the bone marrow.
Recently, efforts in development of targeted drug delivery has heavily involved nanotechnology, which uses the strategy of active targeting. Porous silicon is an attractive material because of its biocompatibility and ability to carry various agents, from proteins to drugs and nanoparticles. In a new study featured in Advanced Healthcare Materials, Mauro Ferrari, David Gorenstein and their colleagues developed a system comprising nanoporous silicon particles and a cell adhesion molecule that specifically targets bone marrow and delivers a high amount of nanoparticles containing therapeutic drugs to the bone marrow tissue. The cell adhesion molecule, E-selectin, has recently shown promise as a biological target for the delivery of drug carriers to the bone marrow endothelium. The researchers attached a ligand that has a very high affinity to E-selectin to a porous silicon particle and successfully demonstrated its ability to deliver therapeutic liposomes.
These findings have the potential to further develop techniques to deliver currently available drugs specifically to the bone marrow, decreasing their side effects and improving their overall effectiveness in treating bone marrow associated disorders.
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