Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Using Femtosecond Lasers to Administer Drugs

Diagram of liposome encapsulating dopamine that is tethered to a gold nanoparticle. The liposome is then activated with the laser, which releases the dopamine.
Diagram of liposome encapsulating dopamine that is tethered to a gold nanoparticle. The liposome is then activated with the laser, which releases the dopamine.

Abstract:
Combining physics and neurobiology to tackle Parkinson's Disease is research "I would never have been able to do outside of OIST," says Professor Keshav Dani. The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University's Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit and Neurobiology Research Unit, along with collaborators at the University of Otago, New Zealand are using lasers, nanotechnology and neuroscience to develop a new, versatile drug delivery system. The researchers describe their work using a laser to release a neurochemical that is dysfunctional in Parkinson's Disease in a controlled and repeatable manner in a new article in Scientific Reports.

Using Femtosecond Lasers to Administer Drugs

Okinawa, Japan | Posted on June 26th, 2014

An exciting new area of research for a cure or therapy for many diseases is targeted drug delivery. Currently, we administer drugs in a systemic way and tissues or organs that do not need the drug receive it, leading to unwanted side effects. A good example of this is in chemotherapy, which is toxic not only to the intended target cancer cells, but also to healthy tissue. Recent advances in nanotechnology and biology are opening up the possibilities in targeted drug delivery, where researchers can release drugs or compounds in a specific tissue or even individual cells, which would allow the drug to reach only its intended target. In their recent paper, OIST researchers describe a method to encapsulate a drug in a shell of lipids, or fat, called a liposome, and modulate the release of the drug using a pulse from a laser.

Members of the Neurobiology Research Unit approached the Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit with the idea to apply laser technology in a possible therapy for Parkinson's Disease. In Parkinson's Disease, the neurochemical dopamine does not function properly. The researchers wanted to use the precise timing and intensity of femtosecond lasers to control the release of dopamine in a way that mimicked its natural dynamic mechanism. Therefore, the researchers encapsulated dopamine in a liposome tethered to a gold nanoparticle. They used a femtosecond laser pulse as the energy source. The energy is absorbed by the gold nanoparticle and then transferred to the liposome, causing the liposome to open and release the dopamine. The length of time and therefore amount of dopamine released can be precisely controlled by the intensity and length of time the laser is on. The researchers also showed that the liposomes are not destroyed by the laser as in previous similar studies. Therefore, the release of dopamine, or any chemical contained within the liposome, can be repeated and controlled. Takashi Nakano of the OIST Neurobiology Research Unit said, "with this method, we can administer a wide range of drugs with precise timing and duration using laser pulses with sub-second accuracy. We are very excited about the potential this new tool brings to neurobiological research."

The next step is using these laser-activated liposomes in living tissue, and eventually, in a live animal. The ability to release potentially any type of drug, chemical or naturally occurring compound in the right place at the right time with a controlled dosage will open new possibilities in medicine. For Dani, it is exciting for him to "be able to utilize a physics technique I learned in graduate school for applications in neuroscience." Nakano added, "the close collaboration between physicists, chemists, and neuroscientists made this outcome possible. OIST's interdisciplinary research has truly facilitated smooth understanding of fields outside the collaborators' individual expertise." The future of new technologies and cures for disease may lie at the boundary between different scientific fields, such as physics and neuroscience. OIST researchers are addressing today's scientific and medical puzzles, like Parkinson's Disease, by developing tomorrow's technologies that straddle those scientific boundaries. Maybe Parkinson's Disease will be cured by a curious neuroscientist who works across the hall from a willing physicist in Okinawa.

By: Kathleen Estes

####

About Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology - OIST
The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology is an interdisciplinary graduate school offering a 5-year PhD program in Science. Over half of the faculty and students are recruited from outside Japan, and all education and research is conducted entirely in English. OIST researchers are conducting multi-disciplinary research in five major areas: Neuroscience, Molecular Sciences, Environmental and Ecological Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Mathematical Computational Sciences. In the six years leading up to graduate school accreditation, OIST received recognition for doing original research and sponsoring innovative international workshops and courses.

The graduate school accepts 20 students per year, creating a very low student to instructor ratio. Students also receive support for living costs, health care, housing, childcare, and other needs that would otherwise distract them from the science. Balancing lectures and lab work, the doctoral program places students in well-funded labs where they work side-by-side with top researchers on state-of-the-art equipment. Frequent visits from internationally-known scientists further enrich the program and provide opportunities for collaboration and exchange. By the time they graduate, students have accumulated not only abstract knowledge and practical skills but also the kind of professional connections necessary to launch their careers as world-class researchers.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Neil Calder

Copyright © AlphaGalileo

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 Links

Download article:

Related News Press

News and information

'Stealth' nanoparticles could improve cancer vaccines October 1st, 2014

Stressed Out: Research Sheds New Light on Why Rechargeable Batteries Fail October 1st, 2014

New Absorber Will Lead to Better Biosensor: Biosensors are more sensitive and able to detect smaller changes in the environment October 1st, 2014

Graphene chips are close to significant commercialization October 1st, 2014

Nanomedicine

Arrowhead Expands Management Team with Appointment of Susan Boynton as Vice President Global Regulatory Affairs October 1st, 2014

Nanobotmodels present metastasis and angiogenesis medical animation October 1st, 2014

'Stealth' nanoparticles could improve cancer vaccines October 1st, 2014

New Absorber Will Lead to Better Biosensor: Biosensors are more sensitive and able to detect smaller changes in the environment October 1st, 2014

Discoveries

Breakthrough in ALD-graphene by Picosun technology October 1st, 2014

Novel approach to magnetic measurements atom-by-atom October 1st, 2014

Nanoparticles Accumulate Quickly in Wetland Sediment: Aquatic food chains might be harmed by molecules "piggybacking" on carbon nanoparticles October 1st, 2014

'Stealth' nanoparticles could improve cancer vaccines October 1st, 2014

Announcements

'Stealth' nanoparticles could improve cancer vaccines October 1st, 2014

Stressed Out: Research Sheds New Light on Why Rechargeable Batteries Fail October 1st, 2014

New Absorber Will Lead to Better Biosensor: Biosensors are more sensitive and able to detect smaller changes in the environment October 1st, 2014

Graphene chips are close to significant commercialization October 1st, 2014

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals

Novel approach to magnetic measurements atom-by-atom October 1st, 2014

'Stealth' nanoparticles could improve cancer vaccines October 1st, 2014

Stressed Out: Research Sheds New Light on Why Rechargeable Batteries Fail October 1st, 2014

New Absorber Will Lead to Better Biosensor: Biosensors are more sensitive and able to detect smaller changes in the environment October 1st, 2014

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

$18-million NSF investment aims to take flat materials to new heights: 2-D alternatives to graphene may enable exciting advances in electronics, photonics, sensors and other applications October 1st, 2014

New Absorber Will Lead to Better Biosensor: Biosensors are more sensitive and able to detect smaller changes in the environment October 1st, 2014

Speed at its limits September 30th, 2014

'Pixel' engineered electronics have growth potential: Rice, Oak Ridge, Vanderbilt, Penn scientists lead creation of atom-scale semiconducting composites September 29th, 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