Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research (IAP) in Potsdam, Germany, decided to use hydrophobic, water-insoluble lipid vesicles as the tiny, 200-250 nanometer pharmaceutical carriers.
They are biologically degradable and disintegrate in the body after deployment.
Polymers are used to stabilize the nano-envelope, which is furnished with molecules highly specific to and recognized by tumor cells. The envelope of the nanoparticle ñ experts call it the vesicles ñ is constructed similarly that of a cell.
The scientists load these carriers with doxorubicin, one of the anti-cancer agents frequently used in chemotherapy. Sodium tetradecyl sulfate (STS), a surfactant, helps the active agent to be absorbed better.
The researchers have already been able to prove the efficacy of their approach in laboratory tests.
Dr. Joachim Storsberg said that they utilized both a cervical cancer strain (HeLa) and cancer of the large intestine (HCT116) for our in-vitro tests.
He said that they each react very differently to doxorubicin. HCT116 cells are sensitive to the substance, in contrast to HeLa cells. We ran the experiments with pharmacologically relevant dosages, used by clinicians.
Storsberg asserted that the doxorubicin was added to the cell cultures both directly and encapsulated in the nano-carriers.
He developed the new therapy jointly with Dr. Christian Schmidt and Nurdan Doganguzel from IAP in close collaboration with colleagues from the pharmaceutical sciences, Prof. Mont Kumpugdee-Vollrath and Dr. J. P. Krause from Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin.
--ANI (Posted on 26-10-2013)