Sweet nanoparticles trick kidney
Scientists have created and invented numerous counteractive medicines for tumors. In the past decade, Nano-medicine has contributed to improved detection and treatment of cancer. The biggest advantage of Nano-medicine is that they have the ability to enter and travel into the bloodstream, to reach the tumor at distant places.
The Nanoparticles are 100 times smaller than a grain of sand, which facilitates there movement in the bloodstream. However, they are still too big to be removed by the kidneys. Since several doses of nanoparticles are necessary to treat a tumor, over time the nanoparticles can accumulate in the kidney and cause irreversible damage.
Prof. Dr. Prasad Shastri from the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry has come up with a natural solution to this issue. They have successfully engineered these nanoparticles, thus enabling their excretion from the body. This is a milestone invention, as it can facilitate in the cure of cancer, doing a little less damage to the body in the process.
They observed viruses such as the herpes simplex virus-1 and the cytomegalovirus, which are able to pass through the kidney filtration apparatus despite their large size compared to nanoparticles. The observation made was that both viruses present sugar molecules on their surface. Inspired by this observation, the scientists engineered nanoparticles containing polysaccharides. Also, a supporting factor as these carbohydrates are frequently found in the human tissue environment.
Using a real-time imaging technique, the team investigated in a mouse model the fate of these sweet nanoparticles. They observed that the polysaccharide-enriched nanoparticles readily pass through the kidney and are excreted with the urine within a few hours after intravenous administration. The significant factor for the researchers was that the nanoparticles continued to act as anticipated and were still able to target tumours.
“The ability to combine tumour accumulation and kidney clearance in the same nanoparticle represents a tipping point in ensuring that Nano-medicines can be safely administered,” says Shastri. “Our nature-inspired approach enabled us to trick the kidney environment to let nanoparticles pass-through” adds Dr Melika Sarem who was a co-author of the study.
Source: UNIVERSITY OF FREIBURG