About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Now, Nontoxic Nanoparticle That Delivers and Tracks Therapeutic Drugs

by Hannah Punitha on November 21, 2008 at 7:40 PM
Font : A-A+

Now, Nontoxic Nanoparticle That Delivers and Tracks Therapeutic Drugs

Penn State researchers have developed a nontoxic nanoparticle that shows promise as an all-around effective delivery system for both therapeutic drugs and the fluorescent dyes that can track their delivery.

The researchers demonstrated that calcium phosphate particles ranging in size from 20 to 50 nanometers would successfully enter cells and dissolve harmlessly, and then release their cargo of drugs or dye.


In the study, led by Peter Butler, associate professor of bioengineering, the researchers used high-speed lasers to measure the size of fluorescent dye-containing particles from their diffusion in solution.

"We use a technique called time correlated single photon counting. This uses pulses of laser light to read the time, on the order of nanoseconds, that molecules fluoresce," said Butler.

Using the new method, the researchers could measure the size of the particles and their dispersion in solution, which in this case was a phosphate-buffered saline that is used as a simple model for blood.

"What we did in this study was to change the original neutral pH of the solution, which is similar to blood, to a more acidic environment, such as around solid tumors and in the parts of the cell that collect the nanoparticles-containing fluid immediately outside the cell membrane and bring it into the cell. When we lower the pH, the acidic environment dissolves the calcium phosphate particle," he added.

Butler explained: "We can see that the size of the particles gets very small, essentially down to the size of the free dye that was inside the particles. That gives us evidence that this pH change can be used as a mechanism to release any drug that is encapsulated in the particle."

Meant primarily for targeted cancer therapy, the tiny particles according to Butler could help in delivering various drugs that have been shown to inhibit cell growth associated with vascular disease.

Mark Kester, professor of pharmacology, and Jong Yun, associate professor of pharmacology, both at Penn State College of Medicine, optimized ceramide, a chemotherapeutic molecule that initiates cell death in cancer cells and known for its ability to slow growth in healthy cells, for both cancer and vascular disease.

It was found that by using human vascular smooth muscle cells in vitro, ceramide encapsulated in calcium phosphate nanoparticles reduced growth of muscle cells by up to 80 percent at a dose 25 times lower than ceramide administered freely, without damaging the cells.

Lead author Thomas Morgan, graduate student in chemistry said that the nanoparticles have several benefits that other drug delivery systems do not.

Unlike quantum dots, which are composed of toxic metals, calcium phosphate is a safe, naturally occurring mineral that already is present in substantial amounts in the bloodstream.

"What distinguishes our method are smaller particles (for uptake into cells), no agglomeration (particles are dispersed evenly in solution), and that we put drugs or dyes inside the particle where they are protected, rather than on the surface. For reasons we don't yet understand, fluorescent dyes encapsulated within our nanoparticles are four times brighter than free dyes," said Morgan.

The study is published in a recent online issue of Nano Letters.

Source: ANI

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Coffee May Help You Fight Endometrial Cancer
Fermented Skin Care
Television Binge-Watching May Boost the Risk of Deadly Blood Clots
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Drug Toxicity Signature Drug Toxicity 

Recommended Reading
Nanoparticles in Cosmetics and Food Packing may Pose Health Risks
There may be a considerable threat to people's health through Nanoparticles, which are widely used, ...
Shortage of Anti-cancer Drugs Greatly Impacts Iraqi Children With Leukemia
A study researchers revealed that some Iraqi children diagnosed with leukemia paid a steep price ......
GAB2-A New Alzheimer’s Gene Identified
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of disabling memory and thinking problems in older ......
Drug Toxicity
Drug toxicity is an adverse reaction of the body towards a drug that results as a side effect of a d...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)