Revolutionary Rapid-Cooling Drugs
A recent study based at the Tel Aviv University (TAU) investigating the delivery of drugs by crystallization through rapid-cooling, was published in Scientific Reports.
The study combined the efforts of TAU’s School of Physics and Astronomy (lead by Dr. Roy Beck) and Department of Cell Research and Immunology (lead by Prof. Dan Peer). The teams collaborated to create nanoscale drug capsules (fluid-filled) using a sensitive X-ray scattering system that could determine nanoscale structures. The purpose was to “freeze” drugs at their targeted tissue and for them to be released at a particular time.
Beck explained the process in further detail, “Supercooled material is a suitable candidate since the transition between liquid and crystal states is very drastic and the liquid membrane explodes to rearrange as crystals. Therefore this new physical insight can be used to release entrapped drugs at the target and not elsewhere in the body’s microenvironment. This is a novel mechanism for timely drug release.”
The challenge for the team involved creating a stable membrane capsule that would hold for the required time until reaching its targeted disease cell; as well as it not being too stable to release the drug material at a later stage. The group successfully managed to keep the membrane intact for over 10 hours before being crystallized.
This unique approach can provide further control in the release of a particular drug, by releasing it in a timely and efficient manner to the targeted cell, thereby resulting in a more effective treatment without any unwanted side-effects. The team are further investigating suitable materials for nano-capsule drugs and the drugs that will be best suited for this state-of-the-art approach.
Dr. Peer is also renowned for his revolutionary work in the use of targeted treatment utilizing nanotechnology for numerous types of cancer – thus minimizing the adverse effects that are associated with traditional treatments.
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