Nano Science and Technology Institute

IP Profile: Targeted, Rapid Release Drug Delivery Through Gold Nanoshell

An optically addressed drug delivery system with multicompartment lipid vesicles, called vesosomes, that also encapsulate gold nanoshells. The vesosome provide a biocompatible environment that sequesters a wide variety of drugs much more efficiently than conventional liposomes, while still having extended circulation in the body.

Organization: UC Santa Barbara
PI: Dr. J. Zasadzinki
Industry Market: Biotech/Pharma
Technology Contact: F. Caporale, Office of Technology & Industry Alliances, UC Santa Barbara

An optically addressed drug delivery system with multicompartment lipid vesicles, called vesosomes, that also encapsulate gold nanoshells. The vesosome provide a biocompatible environment that sequesters a wide variety of drugs much more efficiently than conventional liposomes, while still having extended circulation in the body. With the addition of the gold nanoshells, the vesosomes can be disrupted instantaneously by exposing the gold nanoshells to a pulsed near infrared laser (the same laser used in refractive eye surgery); the nanoshells heat up after absorbing the laser energy, causing local nanobubbles to form and burst the vesosomes, releasing the drugs only at the site targeted by the laser.

The vesosome/nanoshell’s externally directed targeting is independent of tissue type and relies on the deep penetration of near-infrared light into the body. Drugs are released in a rapid burst at the site of interest, minimizing the exposure of healthy tissues to potential side effects.

Vesosome

UC Santa Barbara - Remotely triggered liposomal drug release

UC Santa Barbara has two issued patents for the vesosome and filed a patent application for the near infrared triggered release, which should prove to be a very versatile and efficient drug delivery approach for chemotherapeutic agents for cancer, inflammation and other diseases. The vesosome/nanoshell drug delivery system can extend the commercial lifetime of a number of difficult to deliver drugs that are currently proposed for liposome delivery, especially those that have less than optimal release profiles in conventionally liposome carriers. The combination of extended circulation and drug retention of the vesosome carrier with the rapid and targeted release provided by the laser triggered nanoshells is unique to our invention.

Examples of the potential drugs of interest are:

  • Chemotherapy agents (e.g. Vincristine – Vinblastine – Doxorubicin - Paclitaxel)
  • Antibiotics (e.g. Ciprofloxacin)
  • Oligonucliotides, siRNA, DNA
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