A new method has been developed to make drugs ‘smarter’ using nanotechnology so they will be more effective at reaching their target.
Scientists from the University of Lincoln, UK, have devised a new technique to ‘decorate’ gold nanoparticles with a protein of choice so they can be used to tailor drug to more accurately target an area on the body, such as a cancer tumour.
Gold nanoparticles are spheres made of gold atoms having a diameter of only few billionths of a metre which can be coated with a biological protein and combined with drugs to enable the treatment to travel through the body and reach the affected area.
The nanoparticles can ‘adsorb’ (hold on its surface) drugs which would otherwise become insoluble or quickly degrade in the blood stream, and due to their small size they can overcome biological barriers such as membranes, skin and the small intestine which would usually prevent the drug from reaching its target.
The technology is already used in real world applications such as pregnancy tests – where gold nanoparticles decorated with an antibody against the hormone present in the urine of pregnant women is added to the ‘positive’ strip so it reacts with the nanoparticles to turn the stick red – but is not yet widely used in drug development.
Until now the process of coating the nanoparticles meant that the proteins used had to be ‘mixed’ together with particles which do not have the ability to control the way they bind, possibly making the drug less effective. The new method enables pharmacologists to place the proteins onto the gold nanoparticles layer by layer in a specific order. This maintains the integrity of the protein so that the drug is more effective, opening up possibilities for the development of nanomedicine.
The findings have been published in the journal Nature Communications.
Dr Enrico Ferrari, a nanobiotechnologist from the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences, led the study. He said: “Gold nanoparticles are a vital tool in new drug development and drug delivery systems. We have unlocked the key to binding proteins and molecules so that those drugs will be more effective.
“This method might help to design nanomedicines that do not need extensive chemical modification of a protein drug or a nano-carrier and therefore can be developed more easily and faster.”
Researchers took fragments of proteins from bacteria and flatworms, which when fused together were effective at binding to the gold nanoparticle surface and able to form stable bonds to any other protein.
By mixing this fusion protein with gold nanoparticles, it permanently binds to the gold surface while also being able to stably bind a target protein on which a specific ‘tag’ was included.
This is a new universal method to bind proteins to nanoparticles which will work for most proteins, making the process a more attractive prospect for pharmaceutical companies, the researchers said. The method could also potentially be applied to biosensors and diagnostic kits that use gold, such as those used in clinical settings to identify ongoing infections in patients’ blood.
Learn more: Nanomedicine: Drugs can be made ‘smarter’
The Latest on: Smart drugs
via Google News
The Latest on: Smart drugs
- Trump Officials Say Drug Prices Are Inflated. So Are Some of Their Claims on a Solution. on December 16, 2018 at 9:00 pm
What was said “The president is also going to bring smart negotiation to billions of dollars’ worth of drugs in a part of Medicare where there is currently no negotiation at all.” — Alex M. Azar II, t... […]
- 3D printed smart pill could release drugs via Bluetooth on December 14, 2018 at 2:23 am
A study organized by researchers at MIT, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Draper demonstrates the feasibility of 3D printing ingestible pills that can wirelessly relay information to a smartphone and ... […]
- Smart pill from MIT monitors and medicates via Bluetooth on December 14, 2018 at 2:17 am
A multidisciplinary team from MIT has developed a smart pill that can monitor health from the stomach and release drugs on command using a smartphone app. (Credit: Image courtesy of the researchers) T... […]
- Filipino Director Erik Matti on Critiquing Duterte's Drug War in Brutal Action Flick 'BuyBust' on December 14, 2018 at 1:26 am
began his chaotic and brutal war on drugs. Matti had won acclaim at home and abroad with taut, street-smart crime thrillers like On the Job (2013) and Honor Thy Father (2015), which premiered at Canne... […]
- Massachusetts researched develop smart pill to wirelessly deliver drugs on December 13, 2018 at 1:35 am
An electronic capsule that can be ingested and controlled wirelessly to deliver drugs has been designed by scientists, in an effort to reduce surgical procedures. Researchers at the Massachusetts Inst... […]
- Worldwide Drug Adherence Enhancement Markets with a Focus on Devices and Applications - Forecast to 2030 - ResearchAndMarkets.com on December 11, 2018 at 10:04 am
The "Drug Adherence Enhancement Market: Devices and Applications, 2018-2030" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering. This report features an extensive study of the current landscap... […]
- Rite Aid Foundation brings Prescription Drug Safety Initiative to Scranton on December 10, 2018 at 6:58 am
We hope it arms them with the skills and knowledge to make smart decisions and prevent abuse before it occurs.” The Prescription Drug Safety program uses an evidence-based, public health approach to e... […]
- Peace Mass, NDLEA enlighten staff on movement of illicit drugs on December 10, 2018 at 2:20 am
In his remark, Enugu State commandant of NDLEA, Dr. Anthony Ohanyere, urged the courier staff to be vigilant at all times, as drug peddlers and users were so smart and desperate they could easily con ... […]
- Robot lawyers, smart cities and a political crisis could sum up 2019, UK firm predicts on December 6, 2018 at 3:50 am
Competition to build smart cities – or "city brains" – could be 2019's answer ... 2019 will be the year that everyone in the U.K. knows someone who has, or has had, a drug-resistant infection, Nesta s... […]
via Bing News