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Iranian chemical researchers used nanotechnology to produce smart nanogels with active targeting capability.
Acid folic was used in the production of the nanogel as targeting agent in drug delivery. The nanogel can be used in the treatment of cancer as a stable nanocarrier.
Stability of nanocarriers is an important issue in target delivery mechanisms. Most of nanocarriers, due to their instability, release considerable amount of drug in healthy tissues before reaching the desired tissue, and they are free of drug when they reach the targeted tissue.
There are three different layers in the nanocarrier synthesized in this research: hydrophobic core made of polycaprolactone, which is filled with non-soluble or low-soluble anticancer drug in water, pH-sensitive layer made of amino ester, and finally the formation of nanogel and bond between targeting ligands such as folic acid and the hydrophilic shell made of polyethylene glycol as the stabilizing agent and the agent to prevent proteins existing in blood to accumulate on nanocarriers.
The middle layer formed in nanocarrier prevents its decomposition in thin aqueous media and plays the role of armor for the nanocarrier because of its networking ability and stabilization of copolymers. The amino ester structure of the layer possesses amine groups, and when they are protonized in acidic environment of the cancer cell, the structure causes repulsion among the chains of the layer, and it speeds up the release of the drug. Therefore, the nanocarriers are known as smart armored nanocarriers, and they will act highly effectively in the treatment of cancer after carrying out more research and passing in-vivo tests.
Results of the research have been published in details in European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 73, issue 1, February 2014, pp. 18-29.
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