Researchers Developed Proof-of-Concept Technique Using Nanoparticles

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Researchers used nanoparticles and developed a proof-of-concept technique that could offer new approach for oral medications, according to a study published on August 8, 2018.

This study was conducted by the researchers at the University of Utah Health. Pharmacists have earlier made attempts to develop insulin pill, however, it led to failure as insulin is not capable of surviving harsh conditions of the gastro-intestinal (GI) system and cannot easily cross the GI wall.

Nanomedicine is a major field of medicine that helps in delivering tiny particles (nanoparticles) to carry drugs for the treatment of various conditions, including cancer. These treatments are commonly administered intravenously, as absorption rate of solid nanoparticles in the body is poor. The surface of the nanoparticles was modified using glycocholic acid, a bile acid that helps the body absorb fat in the small intestine.

The glycocholic acid allows nanoparticles to slip incognito through the lining of the small intestine. It was found that the coating helps the nanoparticles bind to proteins that let them move into the gut lymphatic system where it can access the bloodstream. Kyoung Sub Kim, first author on the paper, said, “Nanoparticles were not expected to be absorbed through the lymphatic system. Lymphocyte delivery of nanoparticles allows a wide range of medicines to be applied through this method.”

Researchers affixed a red fluorescence tag on the treated particles to monitor the movement of nanoparticle and watched the particles circulate through the body. Researchers said that this work is still at the preliminary stages and more work is needed to move the results from animal studies to clinical trials.

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