Multifunctional nanomedicine: Developing smarter therapeutics – Advanced Science News




Althoughthe medical and pharmaceutical fields have come a long way in diagnosing diseasestates and producing highly potent drugs, the lack of effective delivery ofsuch therapeutics to the target organ with desired pharmacokinetics remains oneof the major challenges in this process.

The advent of nanotechnology, along with advances in protein engineering and materials science, have brought new hope to patients. The impact of nanotechnology on medicine nanomedicine is recognized by the development of novel nanoscale therapeutics and diagnostic and imaging modalities.

Ina recent review published in WIREs Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology, Professor Joerg Lahann and his team from the University of Michigan discuss state-of-the-art nanoparticle drug delivery platforms, their advantages and shortcomings, and future directions towards clinical translation.

The ability to impart multiple functions to a single delivery system, engineering both bulk and surface properties, provides a means to answer some of the greatest remaining challenges in the field of drug delivery, said Jason Gregory, a PhD student in the Lahann Lab.

In fact, approaches to address this conundruminclude the development of multifunctional particles, cell-mediated transportmechanisms, and the use of biologically derived materials. Multifunctionalparticles can possess two or more dissimilar properties through surface or bulkanisotropy.

For example, the electrohydrodynamic co-jetting process, which was pioneered in the Lahann lab, permits the creation of multicompartmental particles. Independently engineering individual compartments of the nanoparticle leads to an ability to incorporate materials with orthogonal properties that may offer a solution to simultaneously address multiple biological barriers.

Multicompartmental particles provide a set ofunique features for nanoparticle targeting and controlled release ofcombination drugs, said Dr. Joerg Lahann, the Wolfgang Pauli CollegiateProfessor of Chemical Engineering and Director of the Biointerfaces Instituteat the University of Michigan.

While traditional nanoparticles fail to efficiently deliver the drug to target sites, our bodys circulatory cells as natural carriers of many substances have evolved properties to optimally perform delivery functions. Imparting these properties into the design of the drug delivery platforms by combining nanoparticles with circulatory cells enhances the overall outcome of the system, added Nahal Habibi, a PhD student in the Lahann Lab working on cell-mediated drug delivery strategies.

Leukocytes are particularly good candidates because they can naturally migrate to disease-relevant regions that are often inaccessible by traditional nanoparticles, and have been used to carry therapeutic nanoparticles to cross the bloodbrain barrier in a Parkinsons disease model.

Synthetic protein nanoparticles are another emerging trend in nanomedicine.

Advances in designing novel multicompartmental polymer/protein nanoparticles utilizing the intersection of polymer chemistry and protein biochemistry offers promise in engineering the next generation of nanoparticle formulations, said Daniel Quevedo, another PhD candidate in Prof. Lahanns group.

Reference: Nahal Habibi et al. Emerging methods in therapeutics using multifunctional nanoparticles. WIREs Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology (2020). DOI: 10.1002/wnan.1625

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Multifunctional nanomedicine: Developing smarter therapeutics - Advanced Science News

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