It is becoming much more common for patients to be treated with several different medications. It is often necessary for the patient to take them at fixed intervals -- a limitation that makes everyday life difficult and increases the risk of doses being skipped or forgotten.
Oliver Lieleg, a professor of biomechanics and a member of the Munich School of BioEngineering at TUM, and doctoral candidate Ceren Kimna have now developed a process that could serve as the basis for medications containing several active ingredients that would reliably release them in the body in a pre-defined sequence at specified times. "For example, an ointment applied to a surgical incision could release pain medication first, followed by an anti-inflammatory drug and then a drug to reduce swelling," explains Oliver Lieleg.
Ointments - Creams - Ingredients - Time - Delay
"Ointments or creams releasing their active ingredients with a time delay are not new in themselves," says Oliver Lieleg. With the drugs currently in use, however, there is no guarantee that two or more active ingredients will not be released into the organism simultaneously.
To test the principle behind their idea, Oliver Lieleg and Ceren Kimna used nanometer-sized silver, iron oxide and gold particles embedded in a special gel-like substance known as a hydrogel. They then used a spectroscopic method to track the exit of the particles from the gel. The particles selected by the researchers have similar motion characteristics within the gel to the particles used to transport real active ingredients, but are easier and cheaper to make.
Ingredient - Nanoparticles - DNA - Nature - DNA
The special ingredient controlling the nanoparticles is artificial DNA. In nature, DNA is above all the carrier of genetic information. However, researchers are increasingly exploiting another property: The ability of DNA fragments...
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