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'Micro shuttle' drug delivery could mean an end to regular dosing
Date:10/1/2009

mpound inside.

The loaded capsules are introduced into live cells by a technique known as electroporation - a tiny electric shock - which makes the cell walls permeable for micrometer-sized particles. The cells are unharmed by this treatment and retain the capsules.

In this experiment, the capsules were exposed to an infra-red laser beam that does not affect the cell but is picked up by nano-gold particles in the capsule walls, changing their structure and releasing the micro shuttle contents.

Prof Gleb Sukhorukov said: "This new technique could have many biological applications, including delivering DNA into cells for gene therapy. The capsules could also be filled in with magnetic particles that collect and extract miniscule samples from inside cells. Other applications could see patients needing internal medication after surgery being administered drugs without the need for further invasive procedures or hospital visits.

"However, there are still questions about how to direct the capsules to the right cells as well as finding a way to make capsules that are safe for human use. It is possible that we will see useful applications for this technology being tested in the next five years."


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Contact: Simon Levey
s.levey@qmul.ac.uk
44-020-788-25404
Queen Mary, University of London
Source:Eurekalert

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