Nanotechnology delivers medicine to cancer cells while protecting healthy cells ~ “Fooling Cancer”



Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, have helped many of those who have been diagnosed with the disease to go on to live healthy lives.

Nevertheless, chemotherapy takes a toll on the body. During treatment, chemotherapy attacks all of the body’s cells, not just cancer cells. The result destroys healthy cells, causing many patients to suffer major side effects during and after treatment.

And because current treatments aren’t specifically targeted to cancer cells, only 0.01 percent of chemotherapy drugs actually reach the tumor and its diseased cells.

“I’m working on figuring out how we can deliver more of the chemotherapy drugs to the tumor and less to healthy cells,” says Sofie Snipstad, who recently graduated from the Department of Physics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Last year, she won a Norwegian science communication competition for PhD candidates called Researcher Grand Prix. When she made her winning presentation about her research during the competition finals, she was in the middle of testing a new method of cancer treatment on mice.

Now her research has shown that the method can cure cancer in mice.

Her study has just been published in the academic journal Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (“Ultrasound Improves the Delivery and Therapeutic Effect of Nanoparticle-Stabilized Microbubbles in Breast Cancer Xenografts”).


Blood vessels supplying the cancer cells (kreftceller in the illustration) have porous walls, while the sections of blood vessels passing through healthy cells are not porous. This protects healthy cells from the chemotherapy. (Image: NTNU)

Promising results

Snipstad’s method targets cancerous tumors with chemotherapy so that more of the drug reaches cancer cells while protecting healthy cells. The experiments were conducted in mice with an aggressive breast cancer type (triple negative).

Researchers undertook many laboratory experiments before conducting their tests with mice — which were the first actual tests using this delivery method for chemotherapy. In addition to causing the tumors to disappear during treatment, the cancer has not returned in the trial animals.

“This is an exciting technology that has shown very promising results. That the first results from our tests in mice are so good, and that the medicine does such a good job right from the start is very promising,” Snipstad says.

Here’s how the treatment works

Instead of being injected straight into the bloodstream and transported randomly to both sick and healthy cells, the chemotherapy medicine is encapsulated in nanoparticles. When nanoparticles containing the cancer drugs are injected into the bloodstream, the nanoparticles are so large that they remain in the blood vessels in most types of healthy tissues. This prevents the chemotherapy from harming healthy cells.

Blood vessels in the tumor, however, have porous walls, so that the nanoparticles containing the chemotherapy can work their way into the cancerous cells.

“My research shows that this method allows us to supply 100 times more chemotherapy to the tumor compared to chemotherapy alone. That’s good,” Snipstad says.

However, the nanoparticles can only reach cells that are closest to the blood vessels that carry the drug-laden particles, she said. That means that cancer cells that are far from the blood vessels that supply the tumour do not get the chemotherapy drugs.

“For the treatment to be effective, it has to reach all parts of the tumor. So our nanoparticles need help to deliver the medicine,” she said.

Ultrasound is the key

The nanoparticles used by Snipstad and her research team were developed at SINTEF in Trondheim. SINTEF is one of Europe’s largest independent research organizations. The particles are unusual because they can form small bubbles. The nanoparticles are in the surface of the bubbles.

These bubbles are an important part of the cancer treatment. Another essential part is the use of ultrasound, which is Snipstad’s area of research.

nanobubbles in ultrasound treatments

To make the bubbles behave the way they wanted, the researchers tested many different ultrasound treatments, and measured how many of the nanoparticles were delivered to cancerous tissues in mice. Many of the ultrasound treatments had little effect, but Sofie Snipstad found one that worked quite well. (Image: NTNU)

The bubbles that contain the chemotherapy-laden nanoparticles are injected into the bloodstream. Ultrasound is then applied to the tumor. The ultrasound causes the bubbles to vibrate and eventually burst, so that the nanoparticles are released. The vibrations also massage the blood vessels and tissues to make them more porous. 

This helps push the nanoparticles further into the cancerous tumor, instead of only reaching the cancer cells closest to the blood vessels.

“By using ultrasound to transport the chemotherapy-laden nanoparticles into the tumors, our research on mice has shown that we can deliver about 250 times more of the drug to the tumor compared to just injecting chemotherapy into the bloodstream alone,” she says.

Three groups, three clear results

The mice were divided into three groups:

Group 1 received no treatment, and the tumor continued to grow.

Group 2 received the treatment using drug-laden nanoparticles. The growth of the tumor stagnated after time, but the tumour did not disappear.

Group 3 received the treatment using drug-laden nanoparticles, bubbles and ultrasound. In this group, the tumor shrank until it disappeared. One hundred days after the treatment was discontinued, the mice were still cancer-free.

Fooling cancer cells

“For the treatment to be effective, we have to trick the cancer cells to take up the nanoparticles so that the chemotherapy reaches its target,” Snipstad says.

To study this process, she has grown cancer cells and examined them under a microscope. Here, she has seen that the nanoparticles camouflage the chemotherapy drug, allowing the cancer cells to take them up. But for the treatment to work, the nanoparticles have to release the cancer drug exactly when and where it is needed.

“We can do that by changing the chemical composition of the nanoparticles so that we can tailor properties, including determining how quickly the nanoparticles break down. After the cell takes up the nanoparticle, the nanoparticle dissolves and releases the cancer drug inside the cell. That causes the cancer cell to stop dividing, and it will eventually shrink and die.

Close interdisciplinary cooperation

NTNU physics professor Catharina Davies heads the research group of which Snipstad is part. The group mainly works with nanoparticles.

The NTNU group works closely with SINTEF and St. Olavs Hospital in Trondheim. NTNU conducts the animal tests and studies the cancer cells. SINTEF has developed the bubbles containing nanoparticles, which provides the research platform. The cancer clinic and ultrasound group at St. Olavs contribute with their clinical skills.

“One of the things that I like about this project is that so many good people with different backgrounds are involved. Trondheim has a very good interdisciplinary environment, and this project needs all of these different disciplines for us to make progress,” Snipstad said.

No human trials anytime soon

While research results are very promising, it will still be some time before the method can be used in humans.

“It can take from 10-20 years from the time a discovery is made in the lab until it can be used as a treatment,” Snipstad said. “We’ve been working on this about six years, so we still have a lot to learn. 
We need to understand more about the mechanisms behind our success and we have to do much more work using microscopes to understand what is happening inside the tissues.”

Snipstad said that the find also has researchers excited to test the method on other types of cancers, because each type of cancer is different.

Possible treatment for brain cancer

This combination of bubbles, nanoparticles and ultrasound also opens the door on the possibility of treating brain diseases. The brain is protected by a special blood-brain barrier, which makes it difficult to deliver drugs to the brain for treatment. This barrier allows only substances that the brain needs to pass through the barrier, which means that for many brain diseases, there is no treatment whatsoever.

“But there is hope. By using ultrasound and our bubbles we have managed to deliver nanoparticles and drugs to the brain. This may be promising for the treatment of cancer and other diseases in the brain,” Snipstad said.

Source: Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Thanks 

Advertisements

Nano Therapeutics to Nanobots ~ Nanotechnology is creating new opportunities for fighting disease (w/video)



Nanotechnology is creating new opportunities for fighting disease – from delivering drugs in smart packaging to nanobots powered by the world’s tiniest engines.

Chemotherapy benefits a great many patients but the side effects can be brutal.


When a patient is injected with an anti-cancer drug, the idea is that the molecules will seek out and destroy rogue tumour cells. However, relatively large amounts need to be administered to reach the target in high enough concentrations to be effective. As a result of this high drug concentration, healthy cells may be killed as well as cancer cells, leaving many patients weak, nauseated and vulnerable to infection.

One way that researchers are attempting to improve the safety and efficacy of drugs is to use a relatively new area of research known as nanothrapeutics to target drug delivery just to the cells that need it.

Professor Sir Mark Welland is Head of the Electrical Engineering Division at Cambridge. In recent years, his research has focused on nanotherapeutics, working in collaboration with clinicians and industry to develop better, safer drugs. He and his colleagues don’t design new drugs; instead, they design and build smart packaging for existing drugs.


Nanotherapeutics come in many different configurations, but the easiest way to think about them is as small, benign particles filled with a drug. They can be injected in the same way as a normal drug, and are carried through the bloodstream to the target organ, tissue or cell. 
At this point, a change in the local environment, such as pH, or the use of light or ultrasound, causes the nanoparticles to release their cargo.

Nano-sized tools are increasingly being looked at for diagnosis, drug delivery and therapy. “There are a huge number of possibilities right now, and probably more to come, which is why there’s been so much interest,” says Welland. Using clever chemistry and engineering at the nanoscale, drugs can be ‘taught’ to behave like a Trojan horse, or to hold their fire until just the right moment, or to recognise the target they’re looking for.

“We always try to use techniques that can be scaled up – we avoid using expensive chemistries or expensive equipment, and we’ve been reasonably successful in that,” he adds. “By keeping costs down and using scalable techniques, we’ve got a far better chance of making a successful treatment for patients.”


In 2014, he and collaborators demonstrated that gold nanoparticles could be used to ‘smuggle’ chemotherapy drugs into cancer cells in glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and aggressive type of brain cancer in adults, which is notoriously difficult to treat. The team engineered nanostructures containing gold and cisplatin, a conventional chemotherapy drug. A coating on the particles made them attracted to tumour cells from glioblastoma patients, so that the nanostructures bound and were absorbed into the cancer cells.

Once inside, these nanostructures were exposed to radiotherapy. This caused the gold to release electrons that damaged the cancer cell’s DNA and its overall structure, enhancing the impact of the chemotherapy drug. The process was so effective that 20 days later, the cell culture showed no evidence of any revival, suggesting that the tumour cells had been destroyed.

While the technique is still several years away from use in humans, tests have begun in mice. Welland’s group is working with MedImmune, the biologics R&D arm of pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, to study the stability of drugs and to design ways to deliver them more effectively using nanotechnology.

“One of the great advantages of working with MedImmune is they understand precisely what the requirements are for a drug to be approved. We would shut down lines of research where we thought it was never going to get to the point of approval by the regulators,” says Welland. “It’s important to be pragmatic about it so that only the approaches with the best chance of working in patients are taken forward.”

The researchers are also targeting diseases like tuberculosis (TB). With funding from the Rosetrees Trust, Welland and postdoctoral researcher Dr Íris da luz Batalha are working with Professor Andres Floto in the Department of Medicine to improve the efficacy of TB drugs.

Their solution has been to design and develop nontoxic, biodegradable polymers that can be ‘fused’ with TB drug molecules. As polymer molecules have a long, chain-like shape, drugs can be attached along the length of the polymer backbone, meaning that very large amounts of the drug can be loaded onto each polymer molecule. The polymers are stable in the bloodstream and release the drugs they carry when they reach the target cell. Inside the cell, the pH drops, which causes the polymer to release the drug.

In fact, the polymers worked so well for TB drugs that another of Welland’s postdoctoral researchers, Dr Myriam Ouberaï, has formed a start-up company, Spirea, which is raising funding to develop the polymers for use with oncology drugs. Ouberaï is hoping to establish a collaboration with a pharma company in the next two years.

“Designing these particles, loading them with drugs and making them clever so that they release their cargo in a controlled and precise way: it’s quite a technical challenge,” adds Welland. “The main reason I’m interested in the challenge is I want to see something working in the clinic – I want to see something working in patients.”

Could nanotechnology move beyond therapeutics to a time when nanomachines keep us healthy by patrolling, monitoring and repairing the body?


Nanomachines have long been a dream of scientists and public alike. But working out how to make them move has meant they’ve remained in the realm of science fiction.

But last year, Professor Jeremy Baumberg and colleagues in Cambridge and the University of Bath developed the world’s tiniest engine – just a few billionths of a metre in size. It’s biocompatible, cost-effective to manufacture, fast to respond and energy efficient.

The forces exerted by these ‘ANTs’ (for ‘actuating nano-transducers’) are nearly a hundred times larger than those for any known device, motor or muscle. To make them, tiny charged particles of gold, bound together with a temperature-responsive polymer gel, are heated with a laser. As the polymer coatings expel water from the gel and collapse, a large amount of elastic energy is stored in a fraction of a second. On cooling, the particles spring apart and release energy.

The researchers hope to use this ability of ANTs to produce very large forces relative to their weight to develop three-dimensional machines that swim, have pumps that take on fluid to sense the environment and are small enough to move around our bloodstream.

Working with Cambridge Enterprise, the University’s commercialisation arm, the team in Cambridge’s Nanophotonics Centre hopes to commercialise the technology for microfluidics bio-applications. The work is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the European Research Council.

“There’s a revolution happening in personalised healthcare, and for that we need sensors not just on the outside but on the inside,” explains Baumberg, who leads an interdisciplinary Strategic Research Network and Doctoral Training Centre focused on nanoscience and nanotechnology.

“Nanoscience is driving this. We are now building technology that allows us to even imagine these futures.”

Source: By Sarah Collins, University of Cambridge

What Happens When You Change the World and No One Notices?


orville-wright-i-9

Wilbur and Orville Wright conquered flight on December 17th, 1903. Few inventions were as transformational over the next century. It took four days to travel from New York to Los Angeles in 1900, by train. By the 1930s it could be done in 17 hours, by air. By 1950, six hours.

Also Read:  Supersonic jet will travel from New York to London in 3 hours at half the price of the Concorde

But here’s the most amazing part of the story: Hardly anyone paid attention at the time.

Unlike, say, mapping the genome, a lay person could instantly grasp the marvel of human flight. A guy sat in a box and turned into a bird.

But days, months, even years after the Wright’s first flight, hardly anyone noticed.

Here’s the front page of The New York Times the day after the first flight. Not a word about the Wrights:

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two days after. Again, nothing:

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three days later, when the Wrights were on their fourth flight, one of which lasted nearly a minute. Nothing:

3

This goes on. Four days. Five days, six days, six weeks, six months … no mention of the men who conquered the sky for the first time in human history.

The Library of Congress, where I found these papers, reveals two amazing details. One, the first passing mention of the Wrights in The New York Times came in 1906, three years after their first flight. Two, in 1904, the Times asked a hot-air-balloon tycoon whether humans may fly someday. He answered:

Count

That was a year after the Wright’s first flight.

In his 1952 book on American history, Frederick Lewis Allen wrote:

Several years went by before the public grasped what the Wrights were doing; people were so convinced that flying was impossible that most of those who saw them flying about Dayton [Ohio] in 1905 decided that what they had seen must be some trick without significance – somewhat as most people today would regard a demonstration of, say, telepathy. It was not until May, 1908 – nearly four and a half years after the Wright’s first flight – that experienced reporters were sent to observe what they were doing, experienced editors gave full credence to these reporters’ excited dispatches, and the world at last woke up to the fact that human flight had been successfully accomplished.

 

So .. What’s the Point?

The Wrights’ story shows something more common than we realize: There’s often a big gap between changing the world and convincing people that you changed the world.

Jeff Bezos once said:

“Invention requires a long-term willingness to be misunderstood. You do something that you genuinely believe in, that you have conviction about, but for a long period of time, well-meaning people may criticize that effort … if you really have conviction that they’re not right, you need to have that long-term willingness to be misunderstood. It’s a key part of invention.”

It’s such an important message. Things that are instantly adored are usually just slight variations over existing products. We love them because they’re familiar. The most innovative products – the ones that truly change the world – are almost never understood at first, even by really smart people.nano-and-four-ways-051416-aaeaaqaaaaaaaas7aaaajdgyy2flngq1lwuzy2etndqzns04odkwltrmm2mxnwi4ymi1ma

It happened with the telephone. Alexander Graham Bell tried to sell his invention to Western Union, which quickly replied:

This `telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a practical form of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us. What use could this company make of an electrical toy?

It happened with the car. Twenty years before Henry Ford convinced the world he was onto something, Congress published a memo, warning:

Horseless carriages propelled by gasoline might attain speeds of 14 or even 20 miles per hour. The menace to our people of vehicles of this type hurtling through our streets and along our roads and poisoning the atmosphere would call for prompt legislative action. The cost of producing gasoline is far beyond the financial capacity of private industry… In addition the development of this new power may displace the use of horses, which would wreck our agriculture.

nano-and-fourth-ir-051416-aaeaaqaaaaaaaatfaaaajgezy2e0nwvilwu4ogitndzkzi1hymzilta1yty1nzczngqzna

 

Also read: How Nanotechnology and the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ Will Change Everything

 

It happened with the index fund – easily the most important financial innovation of the last half-century. John Bogle launched the first index fund in 1975. No one paid much attention to for next two decades. It started to gain popularity, an inch at a time, in the 1990s. Then, three decades after inception, the idea spread like wildfire.

VG

It’s happening now, too. 3D printing has taken off over the last five years. But it’s hardly a new invention. Check out this interview with the CEO of 3D Systems in … 1989. 3D printing, like so many innovations, had a multi-decade lag between invention and adoption. Solar is similar. Photovoltaics were discovered in 1876. They were commercially available by the 1950s, and Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House in the 1970s. But they didn’t take off – really take off – until the late 2000s.

Big breakthroughs typically follow a seven-step path:

  • First, no one’s heard of you.
  • Then they’ve heard of you but think you’re nuts.
  • Then they understand your product, but think it has no opportunity.
  • Then they view your product as a toy.
  • Then they see it as an amazing toy.
  • Then they start using it.
  • Then they couldn’t imagine life without it.

This process can take decades. It rarely takes less than several years.

Three points arise from this.

1. It takes a brilliance to change the world. It takes something else entirely to wait patiently for people to notice. “Zen-like patience” isn’t a typical trait associated with entrepreneurs. But it’s often required, especially for the most transformative products.

2. When innovation is measured generationally, results shouldn’t be measured quarterly. History is the true story of how long, messy, and chaotic change can be. The stock market is the hilarious story of millions of people expecting current companies to perform quickly, orderly, and cleanly. The gap between reality and expectations explains untold frustration.

3. Invention is only the first step of innovation. Stanford professor Paul Saffo put it this way:

It takes 30 years for a new idea to seep into the culture. Technology does not drive change. It is our collective response to the options and opportunities presented by technology that drives change.

Re-Posted from MORGAN HOUSEL

GNT Thumbnail Alt 3 2015-page-001

Genesis Nanotechnology, Inc. 

Facebook 042616.jpgFollow and ‘Like’ Us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GenesisNanoTech/

 

Twitter Icon 042616.jpgFollow Us On Twitter: https://twitter.com/GenesisNanoTech

 

LinkedIn IconA 042316.jpg“Join the Conversation” on Our LinkedIn ‘Nano Network’ Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/3935461

 

Website Icon 042616Connect To Our Website: http://genesisnanotech.com/

 

YouTube small 050516Watch Our YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/Y1618kgUSXI

 

Blog Pic cropped-microbots-waterFollow Our ‘Top Ten’ Blog: “Great Things from Small Things”: https://genesisnanotech.wordpress.com/

 

Nanogel that Delivers “1 -2” Punch to Cancer – Starts Clinical Trial


Nanogel 040716 id43066

An Immune-Therapy drug delivery system created at Yale that can carry multiple drugs inside a tiny particle is heading toward its first phase of clinical trials for a possible new treatment for cancer.

The delivery system, a nanogel developed in the lab of associate professor Tarek Fahmy, can be used for multiple combinations of drugs for many different cancers and some immune disorders. The platform is designed to deliver multiple drugs with different chemical properties. A single particle can carry hundreds of drug molecules that concentrate in the tumor, increasing the efficacy of the drug combination while decreasing its toxicity.
A cutaway illustration of a nanogel
A cutaway illustration of the nanogel developed by professor Tarek Fahmy. The small particle can carry multiple drug agents to a specific target, such as the site of a tumor. (Illustration by Nicolle Rager Fuller, NSF)

 

Fahmy describes the delivery system as a kind of “rational” therapy, in that it fuses established biological and clinical findings to the emerging field of nanotechnology.
“It creates a new solution that could potentially deal a significant blow to cancer and even autoimmune disease in future applications,” said Fahmy, who teaches biomedical engineering and immunobiology.
The first use of this delivery system will be a drug known as IMM-01. A multi-pronged treatment for metastatic cancer, it contains two agents: Interleukin-2 (IL-2) and an inhibitor of tissue growth factor (TGF beta). IL-2 amplifies the body’s immune system, while the TGF-beta inhibitor dampens the cancer cells’ ability to hide from the immune system. Because their size and makeup differ greatly, the two agents would normally be incompatible. Fahmy, however, developed a novel biodegradable gel that can contain both drugs and then release them in the tumor.
TVM Life Science Ventures VII is providing funding to Modulate Therapeutics Inc. to develop the drug to clinical proof of concept. Modulate secured the rights to IMM-01 from Yale and the Yale start-up company Immunova L.L.C., which was co-founded by Fahmy, Johns Hopkins University professor of oncology Ephraim Fuchs, and entrepreneur Bernard Friedman.
Friedman noted that the complexity of disease biology often hinders treatments. “Successful therapies must strike multiple targets,” he said. “The technology developed by Dr. Fahmy provides an elegant solution.”
“It’s about leveraging the biology of the system, not fighting it,” added Brian Horsburgh, CEO of Immunova and Modulate. “You want to wake up the immune system and harness that.”
Yale’s Office of Cooperative Research (OCR) helped launch Immunova in 2012 and develop Fahmy’s drug delivery technology. Fahmy is a member of the Yale Cancer Center.
“It’s great to see this technology moving forward to the clinic, and we’re hopeful that this will be the first of many life-saving drugs to use this technology,” said Dr. John Puziss, director of technology licensing in OCR.
Source: By William Weir, Yale University

Read more: Nanogel that delivers one-two punch to cancer heads to clinical trial

Nanoparticle reduces targeted cancer drug’s toxicity


Cancer Nanoparticle Targets 160210165715_1_540x360In one of the first efforts to date to apply nanotechnology to targeted cancer therapeutics, researchers have created a nanoparticle formulation of a cancer drug that is both effective and nontoxic — qualities harder to achieve with the free drug. Their nanoparticle creation releases the potent but toxic targeted cancer drug directly to tumors, while sparing healthy tissue.

The findings in rodents with human tumors have helped launch clinical trials of the nanoparticle-encapsulated version of the drug, which are currently underway. Aurora kinase inhibitors are molecularly targeted agents that disrupt cancer’s cell cycle.

While effective, the inhibitors have proven highly toxic to patients and have stalled in late-stage trials. Development of several other targeted cancer drugs has been abandoned because of unacceptable toxicity. To improve drug safety and efficacy, Susan Ashton and colleagues designed polymeric nanoparticles called Accurins to deliver an Aurora kinase B inhibitor currently in clinical trials.

The nanoparticle formulation used ion pairing to efficiently encapsulate and control the release of the drug. In colorectal tumor-bearing rats and mice with diffuse large B cell lymphoma, the nanoparticles accumulated specifically in tumors, where they slowly released the drug to cancer cells. Compared to the free drug, the nanoparticle-encapsulated inhibitor blocked tumor growth more effectively at one half the drug dose and caused fewer side effects in the rodents.

Cancer Nanoparticle Targets 160210165715_1_540x360

The polymeric nanoparticle Accurin encapsulates the clinical candidate AZD2811, an Aurora B kinase inhibitor. This material relates to a paper that appeared in the Feb. 10, 2016 issue of Science Translational Medicine, published by AAAS. The paper, by S. Ashton at institution in location, and colleagues was titled, “Aurora kinase inhibitor nanoparticles target tumors with favorable therapeutic index in vivo.”
Credit: Ashton et al., Science Translational Medicine (2016)

A related Focus by David Bearss offers more insights on how Accurin nanoparticles may help enhance the safety and antitumor activity of Aurora kinase inhibitors and other molecularly targeted drugs.


Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by American Association for the Advancement of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Susan Ashton, Young Ho Song, Jim Nolan, Elaine Cadogan, Jim Murray, Rajesh Odedra, John Foster, Peter A. Hall, Susan Low, Paula Taylor, Rebecca Ellston, Urszula M. Polanska, Joanne Wilson, Colin Howes, Aaron Smith, Richard J. A. Goodwin, John G. Swales, Nicole Strittmatter, Zoltán Takáts, Anna Nilsson, Per Andren, Dawn Trueman, Mike Walker, Corinne L. Reimer, Greg Troiano, Donald Parsons, David De Witt, Marianne Ashford, Jeff Hrkach, Stephen Zale, Philip J. Jewsbury, and Simon T. Barry. Aurora kinase inhibitor nanoparticles target tumors with favorable therapeutic index in vivo. Science Translational Medicine, 2016 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aad2355

Parkinson’s-like Symptoms Reversed in Lab Rats by Nanoparticle Drug


Parkinsons Lab Rat 0422 nanoparticle As baby boomers age, the number of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease is expected to increase. Patients who develop this disease usually start experiencing symptoms around age 60 or older. Currently, there’s no cure, but scientists are reporting a novel approach that reversed Parkinson’s-like symptoms in rats. Their results, published in the journal ACS Nano, could one day lead to a new therapy for human patients.

Rajnish Kumar Chaturvedi, Kavita Seth, Kailash Chand Gupta and colleagues from the CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research note that among other issues, people with Parkinson’s lack in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical messenger that helps nerve cells communicate with each other and is involved in normal body movements. Reduced levels cause the shaking and mobility problems associated with Parkinson’s. Symptoms can be relieved in animal models of the disease by infusing the compound into their brains. But researchers haven’t yet figured out how to safely deliver dopamine directly to the human brain, which is protected by something called the that keeps out pathogens, as well as many medicines. Chaturvedi and Gupta’s team wanted to find a way to overcome this challenge.

 

Parkinsons Lab Rat 0422 nanoparticle

The researchers packaged dopamine in biodegradable nanoparticles that have been used to deliver other therapeutic drugs to the brain. The resulting nanoparticles successfully crossed the blood-brain barrier in rats, released its dopamine payload over several days and reversed the rodents’ movement problems without causing side effects.

Explore further: Hunting down the trigger for Parkinson’s: Failing dopamine pump damages brain cells

More information: Trans-Blood Brain Barrier Delivery of Dopamine Loaded Nanoparticles Reverses Functional Deficits in Parkinsonian Rats, ACS Nano, Article ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/nn506408v

Abstract
Sustained and safe delivery of dopamine across the blood brain barrier (BBB) is a major hurdle for successful therapy in Parkinson’s disease (PD), a neurodegenerative disorder. Therefore, in the present study we designed neurotransmitter dopamine-loaded PLGA nanoparticles (DA NPs) to deliver dopamine to the brain. These nanoparticles slowly and constantly released dopamine, showed reduced clearance of dopamine in plasma, reduced quinone adduct formation, and decreased dopamine autoxidation. DA NPs were internalized in dopaminergic SH-SY5Y cells and dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and striatum, regions affected in PD. Treatment with DA NPs did not cause reduction in cell viability and morphological deterioration in SH-SY5Y, as compared to bulk dopamine-treated cells, which showed reduced viability. Herein, we report that these NPs were able to cross the BBB and capillary endothelium in the striatum and substantia nigra in a 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced rat model of PD. Systemic intravenous administration of DA NPs caused significantly increased levels of dopamine and its metabolites and reduced dopamine-D2 receptor supersensitivity in the striatum of parkinsonian rats. Further, DA NPs significantly recovered neurobehavioral abnormalities in 6-OHDA-induced parkinsonian rats. Dopamine delivered through NPs did not cause additional generation of ROS, dopaminergic neuron degeneration, and ultrastructural changes in the striatum and substantia nigra as compared to 6-OHDA-lesioned rats. Interestingly, dopamine delivery through nanoformulation neither caused alterations in the heart rate and blood pressure nor showed any abrupt pathological change in the brain and other peripheral organs. These results suggest that NPs delivered dopamine into the brain, reduced dopamine autoxidation-mediated toxicity, and ultimately reversed neurochemical and neurobehavioral deficits in parkinsonian rats.

 

Nanoparticle Detects the Deadliest Cancer Cells in Blood


nanoflarex519A novel kind of nanoparticle could lead to more effective cancer treatments.

Patients and doctors often don’t know if surgery to remove cancerous tissue was successful until scans are performed months later. A new kind of nanoparticle could show patients if they’re in the clear much earlier.

The nanoparticles—dubbed nanoflares—attach themselves to individual cancer cells in a blood sample and then glow, allowing cancerous cells to be detected and sorted with the help of a laser. Since different types of cancer cells—some of which are far more lethal than others—can be detected and collected using the technique, and since those cells can then be cultured in a dish, the nanoparticles may also make it easier to test potential treatments before giving them to patients.

nanoflarex519

Cancer cells with specific genes glow red once infiltrated by novel nanoparticles (left). The nanoparticles don’t glow in cells without the gene (right).

In a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers show that the nanoparticles can detect different types of breast cancer cells in mice. They also show that they could identify breast cancer cells added to human blood in a lab. The next step is to see whether the particles can find cancer cells in blood samples from patients.

Each nanoflare consists of a chunk of gold coated with fluorescent molecules and snippets of DNA. The DNA is selected to correspond to RNA found in particular cancer cells. Once introduced into a blood sample, the nanoparticles will enter cancer cells and the DNA will bind to the target RNA, triggering the release of fluorescent molecules and causing the cancer cells to glow. Different types of cancer cells can be detected by attaching different strands of DNA and fluorescent molecules of different colors.

Circulating tumor cells are “the most lethal kind,” because they allow cancer to spread, says Melissa Skala, a professor of biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt University. Such cells, however, are challenging to find because they occur in such small numbers.

Other researchers are developing similar approaches for detecting circulating tumor cells, often using nanoparticles that bind to the surface of cancer cells. The new approach offers two potential advantages, says Shad Thaxton, a professor of urology at Northwestern, and one of the researchers involved in the work. As well as making it possible to better differentiate between various cancer cells, the approach keeps cells alive so they can be cultured, while other approaches tend to destroy them.

It may take years for nanoflare-based tests to be approved for treating breast cancer or other forms of the disease. But even before then, nanoflares could be used to better understand cancers and help discover new drugs, says study author Chad Mirkin, director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology at Northwestern University. That’s because the technique allows specific types of cancer to be cultured and tested in the lab, he says.

Genesis Nanotech: Nanotechnology News & Updates: This Week’s Top Posts (Clean Water – Clean Renewable Energy – New Materials – Health)


Genesis Nanotech: Nanotechnology News & Updates  

1-water nano water-filter2Water Purification at the Molecular Level

Fracking for oil and gas is a dirty business. The process uses millions of gallons of water laced with chemicals and sand. Most of the contaminated water is trucked to treatment plants to be cleaned, which is costly and potentially environmentally hazardous. A Tufts engineer is researching how to create membranes for filters that may one day be able to purify the water right at a fracking site.

https://genesisnanotech.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/water-purification-at-the-molecular-level-research-at-tufts-university/

1-rocket motor_news291014 Micro-Rockets with ‘Water-Fuel’ Neutralize Biological and Chemical Warfare With fears growing over chemical and biological weapons falling into the wrong hands, scientists are developing microrockets to fight back against these dangerous agents, should the need arise. In the journal ACS Nano, they describe new spherical micromotors that rapidly neutralize chemical and biological agents and use water as fuel.

https://genesisnanotech.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/micro-rockets-with-water-fuel-to-neutralize-chemical-biological-warfare/

graphene-structureStart-Up Scales Graphene Production: Develops Bio-Sensors and Supercapacitors

An official of a materials technology and manufacturing startup says his company is addressing the challenge of scaling graphene production for commercial applications. Glenn Johnson, CEO of BlueVine Graphene Industries Inc., said many of the methodologies being utilized to produce graphene today are not easily scalable and require numerous post-processing steps to use it in functional applications. He said the company’s product development team has developed a way to scale the production of graphene to meet commercial volumes and many different applications.

https://genesisnanotech.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/startup-scales-up-graphene-production-develops-biosensors-and-supercapacitors/

1-ACS Solar Band Gap nl-2014-03322a_0005Getting More Electricity Out of Solar Cells: MIT

New MIT model can guide design of solar cells that produce less waste heat, more useful current. When sunlight shines on today’s solar cells, much of the incoming energy is given off as waste heat rather than electrical current. In a few materials, however, extra energy produces extra electrons — behavior that could significantly increase solar-cell efficiency. An MIT team has now identified the mechanism by which that phenomenon happens, yielding new design guidelines for using those special materials to make high-efficiency solar cells.

https://genesisnanotech.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/getting-more-electricity-out-of-solar-cells/

1-google developGoogle Developing Nanotechnology to Detect Cancer and Heart Disease

Google Inc. revealed Tuesday at a conference in California that it is creating a wearable device and a pill with nanoparticles to detect certain developing diseases in the body, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Andrew Conrad, Google‘s head of the Life Sciences team at the Google X research lab, revealed that the company’s goal is to provide an early warning system for cancer and other diseases with a more efficient detection rate.

https://genesisnanotech.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/google-developing-nanotechnology-to-detect-cancer-heart-disease/

1-Graphene solar-panel-array-img_assist-400x301Graphene Solar Panels

Graphene is made of a single layer of carbon atoms that are bonded together in a repeating pattern of hexagons. It is a 2 dimensional material with amazing characteristics, which grant it the title “wonder material”. It is extremely strong and almost entirely transparent and also astonishingly conductive and flexible. Graphene is made of carbon, which is abundant, and can be a relatively inexpensive material. Graphene has a seemingly endless potential for improving existing products as well as inspiring new ones.

https://genesisnanotech.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/graphene-solar-panels/

Applications of Nanomaterials Chart Picture1Nano-Materials fro the Next Generation of Electronics and Photovoltaics: Controlling Size

One of the longstanding problems of working with nanomaterials—substances at the molecular and atomic scale—is controlling their size. When their size changes, their properties also change. This suggests that uniform control over size is critical in order to use them reliably as components in electronics.

Put another way, “if you don’t control size, you will have inhomogeneity in performance,” says Mark Hersam. “You don’t want some of your cell phones to work, and others not.”

https://genesisnanotech.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/nano-materials-for-the-next-generation-of-electronics-and-photovoltaics-controlling-size/

1-BC Water safe_imageNanotechnology: Can New Discoveries Help Us Provide Clean Water and Clean Renewable Energy?

Nanotechnology and Our Future Nanotechnology has been called “The Next Industrial Revolution.” It will or already has, impacted almost every facet of our daily lives. From ‘Nano-Enabled’ Solar Energy & Storage, Nano-Enabled Water Filtraion & Remediation to ‘Nano-Enabled’ Drug Therapies for Cancer, Alzheimers and DiabetesNanotechnology will serve to advance our technology capabilities to meet the Vision for a Better Quality of Life for all of us who share this Planet Earth as ‘Home’.

https://genesisnanotech.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/nanotechnology-can-new-discoveries-help-us-provide-clean-water-and-clean-renewable-and-energy/

*** Note to Readers and Supporters ***1-business-partnerships

Do you have or do you know of a ‘Special Water Project’ that is looking for Partners and/ or Support? If so, please contact us via our Website’s ‘Contact Form’ at:

http://www.genesisnanotech.com/contacts/

Thank You! Genesis Nanotechnology – “Great Things from Small Things”

Tiny Carbon Nanotube-Pores Make BIG Impact


1-Nano Pores 50377Abstract:
A team led by the Lawrence Livermore scientists has created a new kind of ion channel based on short carbon nanotubes, which can be inserted into synthetic bilayers and live cell membranes to form tiny pores that transport water, protons, small ions and DNA.

Tiny carbon nanotube pores make big impact

Livermore, CA | Posted on October 29th, 2014

These carbon nanotube “porins” have significant implications for future health care and bioengineering applications. Nanotube porins eventually could be used to deliver drugs to the body, serve as a foundation of novel biosensors and DNA sequencing applications, and be used as components of synthetic cells.

Researchers have long been interested in developing synthetic analogs of biological membrane channels that could replicate high efficiency and extreme selectivity for transporting ions and molecules that are typically found in natural systems. However, these efforts always involved problems working with synthetics and they never matched the capabilities of biological proteins.

Unlike taking a pill which is absorbed slowly and is delivered to the entire body, carbon nanotubes can pinpoint an exact area to treat without harming the other organs around.

1-Nano Pores 50377
“Many good and efficient drugs that treat diseases of one organ are quite toxic to another,” said Aleksandr Noy, an LLNL biophysicist who led the study and is the senior author on the paper appearing in the Oct. 30 issue of the journal, Nature. “This is why delivery to a particular part of the body and only releasing it there is much better.”

The Lawrence Livermore team, together with colleagues at the Molecular Foundry at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California Merced and Berkeley campuses, and University of Basque Country in Spain created a new type of a much more efficient, biocompatible membrane pore channel out of a carbon nanotube (CNT) — a straw-like molecule that consists of a rolled up graphene sheet.

This research showed that despite their structural simplicity, CNT porins display many characteristic behaviors of natural ion channels: they spontaneously insert into the membranes, switch between metastable conductance states, and display characteristic macromolecule-induced blockades. The team also found that, just like in the biological channels, local channel and membrane charges could control the ionic conductance and ion selectivity of the CNT porins.

“We found that these nanopores are a promising biomimetic platform for developing cell interfaces, studying transport in biological channels, and creating biosensors,” Noy said. “We are thinking about CNT porins as a first truly versatile synthetic nanopore that can create a range of applications in biology and materials science.”

“Taken together, our findings establish CNT porins as a promising prototype of a synthetic membrane channel with inherent robustness toward biological and chemical challenges and exceptional biocompatibility that should prove valuable for bionanofluidic and cellular interface applications,” said Jia Geng, a postdoc who is the first co-author of the paper.

Kyunghoon Kim, a postdoc and another co-author, added: “We also expect that our CNT porins could be modified with synthetic ‘gates’ to dramatically alter their selectivity, opening up exciting possibilities for their use in synthetic cells, drug delivery and biosensing.”

###

Other LLNL researchers include Ramya Tunuguntla, Kang Rae Cho, Dayannara Munoz and Morris Wang. The team members performed some of the work at the Molecular Foundry DOE user facility as a part of its user project.

####

About DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
ounded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (http://www.llnl.gov) provides solutions to our nation’s most important national security challenges through innovative science, engineering and technology. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Nanoparticles in New “Skin Cream” Could Put an An End to Injectable Vaccinations


1-Vacinations 3635082184Saarbruecken, Germany – There could soon be an alternative to the classic vaccination injection, according to German scientists.

Researchers at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS) and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig (HZI) are working on a project which could allow vaccinations to be administered via a skin cream.

The “taxis,” as Claud-Michael Lehr, director of the drug delivery department at HIPS, puts it, are biologically degradable nanoparticles.

The tiny transporters attach themselves to the hair follicles and so transmit the vaccination into the body, according to him.

1-Vacinations 3635082184

“The skin is not broken,” says Lehr. “Ideally in the future you could simply put on some skin cream and you would be vaccinated.”

Such creams would be significantly cheaper to produce and simpler to administer, advantages which would be especially important for developing countries.

According to Ralph von Kiedrowski, regional director of the Association of German Dermatologists in Rheinland Palatinate, it is a method which is certainly workable.

There are already vaccinations which are absorbed via the lining of the mouth, he says.

Another advantage of administering drugs via a cream would be that it could be used for people who are afraid of needles, he says.

But the nanoparticles would have to consist of substances that would not cause an unintentioned reaction by the body’s immune system. And the packaging would have to be constructed in a way that the correct amount of the vaccination was used.

“It all depends on the correct dosage,” said Rolf Hoemke, spokesman for the Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies in Berlin. “But it must be possible to find a way of doing that with a cream.”

There are always thoughts of developing new methods of giving vaccinations without injections, he added, and a cream would be realistic.

The cream developed by the Helmholtz researchers is still in the pre-clinical phase, meaning it has only been tested in the laboratory and on animals.

A clinical study, which would involve people, is not being planned due to a lack of sponsors, says Lehr.

He believes that traditional vaccinations using injections have various disadvantages.

“It’s very laborious and expensive to produce such vaccinations and you need trained staff to administer it,” he explains.

Since the nanoparticles do not deliver enough of the vaccination to the body in order to create the desired effect on its immune system, the researchers have also funnelled so-called adjuvants through the skin via the transporters.

These chemical additives strengthen the immune response and are also used in traditional vaccines, according to Lehr.

The scientist believes that creams could also be used to treat people who suffer from allergies. – Sapa-dpa