A Nano-Cocoon Based Drug Delivery System Against Cancer Cells
Published By : 15 Oct 2014 | Published By : QYRESEARCH
A special drug delivery system has been developed by a group of biomedical engineering researchers that consists of nanoscale “cocoons” made up of DNA that aim at cancer cells and make the cells absorb the cocoon prior to releasing the anticancer drugs. The researchers belonged to the University of North Carolina and the North Carolina State University.
This drug delivery system which is DNA based makes it biocompatible and exhibits lower toxicity to patients than those drug delivery systems that make use of synthetic materials. This system not only aims at targeting the cancer cells, but it also has the capacity to carry a large amount of the drug load and it also releases the drug rapidly once it is inside the cancer cell.
Also, it is quite easy to produce this since it makes use of self-assembling DNA techniques. A single DNA strand makes up the nano-cocoon and it assembles itself into a cocoon like structure that measures approximately 150 meters. The anticancer drug doxorubicin and the DNase protein are contained in the core of the nano-cocoon. The DNase enzyme has a coating of a thin polymer that captures the DNase like a sword in a sheath.
Folic acid ligands are found on the surface of the nano-cocoon.
When the nano-cocoon comes across a cancer cell, the ligands bring together the receptors on the surface of the cell, and the nano-cocoon. The DNase containing polymer sheath gets destroyed by the cell’s acidic environment once the nano-cocoon is within the cancer cell. Once it is freed from the sheath, the DNase quickly slices the DNA cocoon, spreading DOX in the cancer cell and destroying it.
A pre-clinical test will be launched soon.