Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > UT researchers' innovation addresses major challenge of drug delivery

Abstract:
A new physical form of proteins developed by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin could drastically improve treatments for cancer and other diseases, as well as overcome some of the largest challenges in therapeutics: delivering drugs to patients safely, easily and more effectively.

UT researchers' innovation addresses major challenge of drug delivery

Austin, TX | Posted on January 28th, 2012

The protein formulation strategy, developed by faculty and students in the Cockrell School of Engineering's Department of Chemical Engineering, is unprecedented and offers a new and universal approach to drug delivery - one that could revolutionize treatment of cancer, arthritis and infectious disease.

"We believe this discovery of a new highly concentrated form of proteins - clusters of individual protein molecules - is a disruptive innovation that could transform how we fight diseases," said Keith P. Johnston, a chemical engineering professor and member of the National Academy Engineering. "It required integration of challenging contributions in fundamental science and engineering from three of our chemical engineering research groups."

The research, led by Johnston, Chemical Engineering Professor Thomas M. Truskett and Assistant Professor Jennifer Maynard, was published online recently ahead of a print version to appear soon in the ACS Nano journal.

"The real challenge in developing therapeutics is how do you deliver them to patients." Maynard said.

Typically, protein biopharmaceuticals are administered intravenously at dilute concentrations in a hospital or clinic. Scientists and engineers have long tried to produce safe drugs at higher concentrations, so that a patient could self-inject the drugs at home, similar to an insulin shot. But doing so has been stymied by the fact that proteins, in high-concentration formulations, form aggregates that could be dangerous to patients and gels that cannot be injected.

The Cockrell School research team has introduced a new physical form of proteins, whereby proteins are packed into highly concentrated, nanometer-sized clusters that can pass through a needle into a patient to treat disease. The novel composition avoids the pitfalls of previous attempts because drug proteins are clustered so densely that they don't unfold or form dangerous aggregates.

"This general physical concept for forming highly concentrated, yet stable, protein dispersions is a major new direction in protein science," Johnston said.

A key advance came in 2004, when Truskett predicted that protein-based drugs in solution would be stable if they could somehow be formulated at ultra-high concentrations. At that time, Johnston had nanoparticles of concentrated stable protein but didn't know how to disperse them in an injectable form.

In 2009, the team formed protein nanoclusters in water simply by properly adjusting the pH (to lower protein charge) and adding sugar to crowd protein molecules together. Upon dilution or subcutaneous injection into a mouse the proteins separate back to individual stable molecules with biological activity. Once injected, the protein in the bloodstream attacks targeted cells and tumors similarly as for protein delivered via IV therapy. To provide a roadmap for improving the design of nanoclusters, chemical engineering graduate students, Andrea Miller and Ameya Borwankar worked with Truskett and Johnston to develop a new thermodynamic theory.

Another breakthrough for the team came in 2009 when a chemical engineering senior, Brian Wilson, created a transparent dispersion of extremely concentrated protein, which was later found to be formed of nanoclusters.

"Through Brian's discussions about the research both inside and outside of the classroom, numerous undergraduate students at UT are now realizing the enormous opportunities they have to contribute to science, engineering and human health when they get involved in research projects," Johnston said.

Since the research began in 2004, three patent applications have been filed through the university's Office of Technology Commercialization.

The research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Welch Foundation, and the Packard Foundation. Starting in 2012, two major pharmaceutical companies will fund the work.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Melissa Mixon

512-471-2129

Copyright © University of Texas at Austin

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.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Study finds long-term survival of human neural stem cells transplanted into primate brain April 23rd, 2014

High-Performance, Low-Cost Ultracapacitors Built with Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes: Future devices based on technology could bridge gap between batteries and conventional capacitors in portable electronics and hybrid electric vehicles April 23rd, 2014

Guo Lab Shows Potential of RNA as Heat-resistant Polymer Material for Nanoarchitectures April 23rd, 2014

National Space Society Congratulates SpaceX on the Success of CRS-3 and the First Flight of the Falcon 9R April 22nd, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

High-Performance, Low-Cost Ultracapacitors Built with Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes: Future devices based on technology could bridge gap between batteries and conventional capacitors in portable electronics and hybrid electric vehicles April 23rd, 2014

Guo Lab Shows Potential of RNA as Heat-resistant Polymer Material for Nanoarchitectures April 23rd, 2014

Cloaked DNA nanodevices survive pilot mission: Successful foray opens door to virus-like DNA nanodevices that could diagnose diseased tissues and manufacture drugs to treat them April 22nd, 2014

Berkeley Lab Researchers Demonstrate First Size-based Chromatography Technique for the Study of Living Cells April 22nd, 2014

Nanomedicine

Study finds long-term survival of human neural stem cells transplanted into primate brain April 23rd, 2014

Cloaked DNA nanodevices survive pilot mission: Successful foray opens door to virus-like DNA nanodevices that could diagnose diseased tissues and manufacture drugs to treat them April 22nd, 2014

Berkeley Lab Researchers Demonstrate First Size-based Chromatography Technique for the Study of Living Cells April 22nd, 2014

Amino-functionalized carbon nanotubes act as a carrier for nerve growth factor April 21st, 2014

Discoveries

Study finds long-term survival of human neural stem cells transplanted into primate brain April 23rd, 2014

High-Performance, Low-Cost Ultracapacitors Built with Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes: Future devices based on technology could bridge gap between batteries and conventional capacitors in portable electronics and hybrid electric vehicles April 23rd, 2014

Guo Lab Shows Potential of RNA as Heat-resistant Polymer Material for Nanoarchitectures April 23rd, 2014

Berkeley Lab Researchers Demonstrate First Size-based Chromatography Technique for the Study of Living Cells April 22nd, 2014

Announcements

Study finds long-term survival of human neural stem cells transplanted into primate brain April 23rd, 2014

High-Performance, Low-Cost Ultracapacitors Built with Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes: Future devices based on technology could bridge gap between batteries and conventional capacitors in portable electronics and hybrid electric vehicles April 23rd, 2014

Guo Lab Shows Potential of RNA as Heat-resistant Polymer Material for Nanoarchitectures April 23rd, 2014

National Space Society Congratulates SpaceX on the Success of CRS-3 and the First Flight of the Falcon 9R April 22nd, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE







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














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







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