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Russian and Chinese scientists have created nanocapsules to deliver the drug to tumor cells

istock 1477214805 1536x958Employees of the Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine (IHBFM) SB RAS together with colleagues from Guangzhou Medical University in China have developed nanocapsules for drug delivery to tumors.


They will allow delivering toxic anticancer drugs directly to the site of action, bypassing healthy tissues. This was reported on Wednesday by the official publication of the SB RAS "Science in Siberia". An article describing the development was published in the journal Magnetochemistry.

"We obtained magnetic nanoparticles, stabilized them with nylon, and then dissolved the magnetic particle inside this composite by acid treatment. As a result, we have only a nylon shell with a void inside. In water conditions, this capsule swells, and substances get inside. The article shows that it has a sufficiently large capacity to load the drug inside," the press service quotes Elena Dmitrienko, head of the Laboratory of Biomedical Chemistry of the IHBFM SB RAS.

The magnetic particles in the capsule core consist of iron oxide. After applying the polymer coating, the capsules lose their magnetic properties and become safer for the body.
The polymer nylon-6 (nylon) was used to work with nanoparticles. It is completely biocompatible, biodegradable, non-toxic and is already used for biomedical purposes, for example, surgical threads are made from it. Applying a nylon coating not only stabilizes the particles: it becomes possible to attach additional connections to them. This makes it possible to chemically attach a ligand molecule to the capsule, which will provide targeted delivery of nanocapsules directly to tumor cells.

In the future, scientists plan to pick up ligands and attach them to a nylon shell. "We plan to assemble the basis, and when it is already shown that both the carrier, the drug, and the targeted component are presented in one set, which is stable and non-toxic, it will be possible to start in vivo research," the publication quotes Dmitrienko.

In the experiment, the capsules were filled with the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin, which is poorly soluble and has high toxicity. Experiments have shown that capsules can release the drug depending on the acidity (pH) of the environment. It is known that the pH of cancer cells is lower than that of healthy ones. The authors of the work noted that the lower the pH, the more actively the drug is released from the capsules, writes "TASS".