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June 25th, 2005 at 10:08 am

Nanoparticles Drug Delivery System

Scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a breakthrough method of creating the world’s tiniest manufactured particles for delivering drugs and other organic materials into the human body.

The team led by is Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone adapted technology pioneered by the electronics industry in fabricating transistors and figured out for the first time how to create particles for carrying genetic material, pharmaceuticals and other compounds of unprecedented small size and uniformity.



“Billions of dollars are being spent now on nanotechnology and nanoparticles, but 99 percent of the materials people are focusing on are metals and metal oxides, which are inorganic. Our method, which is really exciting, for the first time opens the world’s door to marrying organic materials to nanotechnology,” De Simone said.



The new method called Particle Replication in Nonwetting Templates, or PRINT, avoids harsh treatment but also allows formation of uniform particles in any shape designers choose – spheres, rods, cones, trapezoidal solids, etc. It avoids creating films or “scum layers” that would clump particles together rather than allowing them to be harvested independent of one another.



“This is in contrast to traditional imprint lithography with silicon, glass or quartz molds where it is difficult to eliminate this residual material between objects,” DeSimone said.



“The process starts off when we make a master template in a clean room at places like the Triangle National Lithography Center at N.C. State University. From that we make impressions with what we call liquid Teflon, and the resulting molds look something like ice cube trays with tiny cavities in them. After that, we mold the carrier and fragile functional materials into whatever particles we want and gently wash them off the molds with buffer solutions into vials or other containers to concentrate them. Then they can be injected,” he added.



More here.

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