Cancer Drugs Delivered To Your Body Via The Skin Of Your Red Blood Cells
Jun 23, 2011 12:23
Every day, there's a new way on how to battle cancer. Bioengineers have figured a way to deliver cancer killing drugs by hiding them in the skins of red blood cells.
The work was led by UC San Diego bioengineers Liangfang Zhang and Che-Ming hu who wanted a way to deliver nanoparticle medicines to patients without triggering an immune response. That would have eradicated the medicine before it could have been sent to work.
They peeled the membranes off of red blood cells and wrapped them with nanoparticles and it worked well on mice.
According to a release about the study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, where the results were published this week:
Using the body's own red blood cells marks a significant shift in focus and a major breakthrough in the field of personalized drug delivery research. Trying to mimic the most important properties of a red blood cell in a synthetic coating requires an in-depth biological understanding of how all the proteins and lipids function on the surface of a cell so that you know you are mimicking the right properties. Instead, Zhang's team is just taking the whole surface membrane from an actual red blood cell.
"We approached this problem from an engineering point of view and bypassed all of this fundamental biology," said Zhang. "If the red blood cell has such a feature and we know that it has something to do with the membrane — although we don't fully understand exactly what is going on at the protein level — we just take the whole membrane. You put the cloak on the nanoparticle, and the nanoparticle looks like a red blood cell."