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Iranian researchers from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in association with researchers from the University of Minnesota, the US, succeeded in the production of non-viral medical nanocarriers.
The nanocarriers are made of polyethyleneimine and are at nanometric scale. They can be widely used in pharmaceutical industries, specially in the treatment of cancer.
Dr. Nasim Shahidi Hamedani, one of the researchers, explained about the research, and said, "Lymphocyte cells are strongly resistant to the acceptance of genetic parts from outside the cell. Therefore, gene therapy is very difficult in these cells. A system is considered successful in gene therapy that can overcome problems such as cell entrance, cytoplasm transfer, and transfer into the core in case of plasmid DNA."
"Among other concerns, mention can be made of appropriate physicochemical properties of the set of carrier/nucleic acid in the formulation and also the targeting ability of the desired tissue or cell as well as not entering the cell in non-specific cells. The aim of the research was to synthesize derivatives of polyethyleneimine with various molecular weight and to join cell targeting ligands on them as a new series of systems based on polymer/aptamer in the delivery of nucleic acid."
To this end, nanocarriers based on cationic polymer of polyethyleneimine were produced in the first place and their physical properties, including the ability to hold genetic parts, particles size, surface charges, and adaptability were investigated. Next, aptamers were connected to the cationic polymer as the targeting molecules of surface indices of cancerous cells, and the ability of the final nanocarrier to deliver genetic parts and the prevention of their entrance to non-cancerous cells were studied.
"Some researchers were carried out on prostate cancer cells by using 14 different nanocarriers with structural modifications," Shahidi added.
Results of the research have been published in details in July 2013 in The Journal of Gene Medicine, vol. 15, pp. 261-269.
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