|they can deliver drugs right inside a cancerous cell in the body with the help of physiological cues present inside the body, allowing target specific delivery.
By Shraddha Rupavate
A team of scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore has developed nanocapsules, a special type of material that has the ability to deliver drugs to individual cell of human body, depending on its needs.
These nanocapsules have a great application in cancer treatment as they can deliver drugs right inside a cancerous cell in the body with the help of physiological cues present inside the body, allowing target specific delivery. This system may possibly put an end to one of the major problems in cancer treatment — death of healthy cells. Prof Ashok M Raichur, Dipshikha Chakravortty and their team of scientists at IISc Bangalore, demonstrated one of the very few systems that can respond to multiple cues.
There are three ideal characteristics that a drug delivery system should have:
- The entire drug molecule should be encapsulated, which would prevent its premature release or degradation
- It should carry the drug safely — and specifically — to the target site
- It should release the drug molecules using the local physiological cues available at the target site.
Based on these ideal characteristics, the scientists manufactured hollow nanocapsules from special materials called biopolymers that do not react with body tissues. They contain components that can respond to local cues integrated in the walls. To avoid premature release of the drug, the walls are cross-linked; this sort of architecture gives scope to load large amounts of drugs into the capsule. The wall structure also makes it possible for a small amount of local cues, like enzymes, to trigger the release of a large number of drug molecules.