Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Nano Compartments May Aid Drug Delivery, Catalyst Design

Published: Monday, April 22, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Spongelike nanoparticles whose pores can be filled with drugs offer the promise of drug delivery to specific targets in the body, avoiding unpleasant side effects.

Cornell researchers have now created nanoparticles with separate compartments that could carry two or more different drugs to the same location, with precise control over the amounts. The technology might also be applied to catalysts used to enhance chemical reactions, which are sometimes formed into porous nanoparticles to expose more surface area; compartmented particles could allow two or more catalysts to work in sequence.

Ulrich Wiesner, the Spencer T. Olin Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and first authors, Cornell researcher Teeraporn Suteewong and graduate student Hiroaki Sai, have tweaked familiar “sol-gel” chemistry used to self-assemble porous silica particles, making the assembly shift gears partway through to create what amounts to two or more different nanoparticles joined together, while controlling how one particle grows out of another, a process referred to as epitaxial growth.

“It’s the first time I’m aware of that the shapes of porous silica nanoparticles have been controlled via epitaxy,” Wiesner said. “The cubic lattice and the hexagonal lattice have a well-defined relationship.” The products so far are fairly simple particles with two or three compartments, but the methods might be extended to create much more complex structures, he said.

The discovery was partly serendipitous. While making ordinary nanoparticles, the scientists saw a small fraction with hexagonally structured porous branches growing out of a cubic core particle. “We set out to understand what controls that,” Wiesner said.

Wiesner’s team and researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City report their results in the April 19 issue of the journal Science as “Multicompartment Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles with Branched Shapes: An Epitaxial Growth Mechanism.” The other researchers include graduate student Robert Hovden; David Muller, professor of applied and engineering physics; Sol M. Gruner, professor of physics; and Michelle Bradbury, M.D., Ph.D., Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

The starter for the process is a mixture of organosilanes, molecules built around carbon and silicon atoms, and surfactants. Surfactants, of which the prime example is soap, have one end that likes water and another “oily” end that tries to stay away from it. So in water surfactants form micelles, tiny spherical bundles with the water-loving end out and the oily part tucked away in the center. In the sol-gel process the micelles act as cages around which silica from the orgaosilanes forms, building particles about a hundred nanometers in diameter. When the micelles are washed away what remains is a porous silica structure with pores two to three nanometers in size. “The micelles are placeholders for the pores,” Wiesner explained. (A nanometer is a billionth of a meter, about the length of three atoms in a row.)

The type of pore lattice depends, among other things, on the pH, or acidity, of the solution. The researchers added ethyl acetate, a chemical that breaks down in water and in the process makes the solution more acidic, to act as a timer to change the output of the reaction partway through. At first a cubic lattice forms, building cubical particles. As acidity increases the reaction path changes to make a hexagonal lattice creating cylinders that begin to grow out of the faces of the cubes. The number of cylinders and their length can be controlled by the concentration of ethyl acetate, generating tripods or even tetrapods.

“Previous work in my group and that of others has focused on how to control the pore structure,“ Wiesner said. “Here we use the pore structure to control the shape of the nanoparticles.”

In a hint of the future, the researchers were able to connect two or three cubes with cylindrical bridges between them, perhaps the beginning of a network of cubes and tubes like a nanoscale hamster habitat. “We have learned to switch the growth conditions. If we can switch back we might be able to grow all sorts of funky architectures,” Wiesner said.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

$1M NIH Grant to Refine PCR Based Cancer Test
Researchers at Cornell University, Weill Cornell Medicine, the University of California, San Francisco, and the Infectious Diseases Institute in Kampala, Uganda, recieve a four-year, $1 million grant to hone technology for a quick, in-the-field diagnosis of Kaposi's sarcoma — a cancer frequently related to HIV infections.
Friday, September 02, 2016
Vortex Ring Freezing Applications
Accidental lab discovery could aid cell delivery and cell-free protein production.
Monday, August 22, 2016
Measuring Chemistry on a Chip
Researchers developing chemical sensor chip for sample analysis in a lab or monitoring air and water quality in the field.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Key to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is in Your Gut, Not Head
Researchers report they have identified biological markers of the disease in gut bacteria and inflammatory microbial agents in the blood.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Pathogen Takes Control of Gypsy Moth Populations
A new fungal pathogen is killing gypsy moth caterpillars and crowding out communities of pathogens and parasites that previously destroyed these moth pests.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Eating Green Could be in Your Genes
Genetic variation uncovered that has evolved in populations that have historically favored vegetarian diets, such as in India, Africa and parts of East Asia.
Friday, April 01, 2016
$4.8M USAID Grant to Improve Food Security
To strengthen capacity to develop and disseminate genetically engineered eggplant in Bangladesh and the Philippines, the USAID has awarded Cornell a $4.8 million, three-year cooperative grant.
Friday, April 01, 2016
Proteins Seek, Attack, Destroy Tumor Cells in Bloodstream
Using white blood cells to ferry potent cancer-killing proteins through the bloodstream virtually eliminates metastatic prostate cancer in mice, Cornell researchers have confirmed.
Friday, January 15, 2016
Tumor-suppressing Gene Lends Insight to Cancer Treatment
Researchers have found that delicate replication process derails if a gene named PTEN has mutated or is absent.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Synthetic Immune Organ Produces Antibodies
Cornell engineers have created a functional, synthetic immune organ that produces antibodies and can be controlled in the lab, completely separate from a living organism.
Friday, June 12, 2015
On Planes, Savory Tomato Becomes Favored Flavor
Study shows the effect that airplane noise has on passengers' taste preferences.
Friday, May 15, 2015
$5.5M NSF Grant Aims to Improve Rice Crops with Genome Editing
Researchers to precisely target, cut, remove and replace DNA in a living cell to improve rice.
Friday, May 08, 2015
'Shield' Gives Tricky Proteins a New Identity
Solubilization of Integral Membrane Proteins with high Levels of Expression.
Saturday, April 11, 2015
DNA Safeguard May Be Key In Cancer Treatment
Cornell researchers have developed a new technique to understand the actions of key proteins required for cancer cells to proliferate.
Monday, March 09, 2015
A ‘STAR’ is Born: Engineers Devise Genetic 'On' Switch
A new “on” switch to control gene expression has been developed by Cornell scientists.
Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Scientific News
Point of Care Diagnostics - A Cautious Revolution
Advances in molecular biology, coupled with the miniaturization and improved sensitivity of assays and devices in general, have enabled a new wave of point-of-care (POC) or “bedside” diagnostics.
Mass Spec Technology Drives Innovation Across the Biopharma Workflow
With greater resolving power, analytical speed, and accuracy, new mass spectrometry technology and techniques are infiltrating the biopharmaceuticals workflow.
One Step Closer to Precision Medicine for Chronic Lung Disease Sufferers
A study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and National Jewish Health, has provided evidence of links between SNPs and known COPD blood protein biomarkers.
Blood Pressure Drug May Boost Effectiveness of Lung Cancer Treatment
Researchers at Imperial College London have suggested that the blood pressure drug may make a type of lung cancer treatment more effective.
Insight into Eye Diseases
Scientists recreate zebrafish cell regeneration from retinal stem cells in mice.
New Discovery May Benefit Farmers Worldwide
Scientists have shown how a crop-microbe 'team' protect against fungal infection.
Antibodies Paving the Way to HIV Vaccine
Researchers uncover factors responsible for the formation of broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies in humans.
Designing Drugs with a Whole New Toolbox
Researchers develop methods to design small, targeted proteins with shapes not found in nature.
Protein Studies Discover Molecular Secrets
Two protein studies have mapped proteins that reveal the secrets to recycling carbon and healing cells.
Tapping Evolution to Improve Biotech Products
Researchers show how 'ancestral sequence reconstruction' can be used to guide engineering of a blood clotting protein.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!