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Wayne State researcher's technique helps nanoparticles deliver drugs
May 8, 2013
A Wayne State University researcher has successfully tested a technique that can lead to more effective use of nanoparticles as a drug delivery system. Joshua Reineke, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, examined how a biodegradable polymer particle called polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) breaks down in live tissue. He believes the potential impact of his work is broad, as nanoparticles increasingly have been developed as carriers of drug treatments for numerous diseases and as imaging agents; they also are used in numerous consumer products. The kinetics of nanoparticle biodegradation is an important factor that can control how and where a drug is released, impacting treatment efficacy as well as potential toxicity to nontarget tissues from nanoparticle exposure. "If nanoparticles given to a patient release a drug before particles can ever get to target tissue, then we get high toxicity and low effect," Reineke said. "Conversely, if particles are drawn to a tissue but don't release the drug until long afterward, then we also don't get the therapeutic effect."