A nanoparticle drug delivery system designed for brain tumor therapy has shown promising tumor cell selectivity in a novel cell culture model devised by University of Nottingham scientists. The project, conducted jointly in the Schools of Pharmacy, Biomedical Sciences and Human Development, will be featured in the September issue of the Experimental Biology and Medicine.
Therapy for brain cancers is particularly difficult for a number of reasons, including getting sufficient drug to the tumor and selectivity of drug action. We are working on a number of new therapeutic approaches using nanoparticle drug delivery systems explained Dr Martin Garnett, Associate Professor of drug delivery at the School of Pharmacy, however, understanding and developing these systems requires suitable models for their evaluation.
The nanoparticles used in this study were prepared from a novel biodegradable polymer poly(glycerol adipate). The polymer has been further modified to enhance incorporation of drugs and make the nanoparticles more effective.
The interaction of tumor cells with brain cells varies between different tumors and different locations within the brain explained Dr Terence Parker, Associate Professor in the School of Biomedical Sciences. Using 3-dimensional culture models is therefore important in ensuring that the behavior of cells in culture is similar to that seen in real life.
The work was mainly carried out by graduate student Weina Meng who formulated the fluorescently labeled nanoparticles and studied them in a variety of tumor and brain cell cultures. Her early studies showed faster uptake of nanoparticles into tumor cell cultures than normal brain cell cultures grown separately. This selectivity was only seen in 3-dimensional cultures and was the driving force to develop a more complex and representative model.
Tumor cell aggregates have been used as cell culture models of cancer cells for many years. Similarly thin brain sl
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