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Delivery of therapeutics: Small Packages Delivering Huge Results

New strategy to coat microscopic materials

 

University of Melbourne researchers have developed an efficient system to coat tiny objects, such as bacterial cells, with thin films that assemble themselves which could have important implications for drug delivery as well as biomedical and environmental applications.

Published today in the journal Science, Professor Frank Caruso from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Melbourne and his team have developed a new strategy to coat microscopic materials, leading to a new-generation particle system with engineered properties.

This is expected to underpin advances in the delivery of therapeutics in the areas of cancer, vaccines, cardiovascular disease and neural health.

The capsules can be engineered to degrade under different conditions, providing opportunities for the timed release of substances contained inside the capsules.

Nanoengineered capsules are attracting much attention as drug carriers, as they have the potential to improve the delivery and effectiveness of drugs while reducing their side effects,” he said

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How Inflammatory Cells Function Setting Stage for Future Remedies

A research team led by investigators at New York University and NYU School of Medicine has determined how cells that cause inflammatory ailments, such as Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis, differentiate from stem cells and ultimately affect the clinical outcome of these diseases.

“We’ve found that hundreds of new genes are involved in the function and development of these cells,” said co-author Richard Bonneau, an associate professor at New York University’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. “This expansion in our understanding can be used as a framework for designing new therapies to combat a range of ailments where the immune system attacks self.”

These cells, called T-cells by immunologists, play a role in fighting off infection, but can also induce inflammation and other processes that damage tissues and contribute to several common inflammatory diseases. T-cells are also key cell types in new immune-cell based therapies for fighting cancer. There are many types of T-cells, and how they differentiate from stem cells in the human body lies at the center of understanding several diseases.

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Multi-Functional Anti-Inflammatory & Anti-Allergic Drugs Developed

A synthetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic family of drugs to combat a variety of illnesses, while avoiding detrimental side effects,

 

has been developed by a Hebrew University of Jerusalem researcher.

The researcher is Saul Yedgar, who is the Walter and Greta Stiel Professor of Heart Studies at the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada at the Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine.

Inflammatory and allergic diseases affect billions of people worldwide, and treatments for these conditions are a major focus of the pharmaceutical industry. The most common drugs currently used to treat these numerous diseases are steroids, which are potent but are associated with severe side effects. These include metabolic changes (weight gain, increased blood pressure, diabetes), organ-specific effects (glaucoma, cataracts, bone fragility), and even psychotrophic side effects (depression, psychosis).

For decades, alternatives, such as biological NSAIDs (non-steroidal alternative anti-inflammatory drugs) have been the focus of the pharmaceutical industry. The resulting drugs have been commercially successful, but have not produced genuine alternatives to steroids due to their limitations. Synthetic NSAIDs are less potent and have their own serious side effects, including cardiovascular disorders, stomach bleeding and respiratory disorders. The biological drugs are costly and, must be injected and have rare but very severe side effects.

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