Monday, July 09, 2007

Nanoparticles get a free ride

A breakthrough discovery in the US could see nanoparticles hitching a ride on red blood cells to become an ultimate drug delivery mechanism.

Nanoparticles have long been seen as a promising frontier for intravascular drug delivery but advances in the technology have been limited by the problem that nanoparticles are quickly removed from the blood rendering them ineffective in delivering drugs.

But researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have found a solution to the problem - attaching nanoparticles to the surface of red blood cells (RBCs) dramatically increases the in vivo lifetime of the nanoparticles.

The research is published in the July 07 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine.

"Attachment of polymeric nanoparticles to red blood cells combines the advantages of the long circulating lifetime of the red blood cell, and their abundance, with the robustness of polymeric nanoparticles," research team leader Dr Samir Mitragotri said is a statement.

link to full article

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