Recent advancements in nanotechnology have created novel opportunities in targeted therapeutics and medical imaging. Encapsulation of active molecules in polymeric nanoparticles offers many advantages including sustained release of the encapsulated drug, protection from degradation in circulation, and active or passive targeting to target tissues such as brain, liver or cancer tissue. In addition, polymeric nanoparticles by parenteral route, especially through intravenous route poses major challenges mainly due to the rapid clearance of particles from circulation. Many particles are cleared within a matter of minutes from circulation before reaching the target site, and as a result, their applicability is heavily dependent upon their ability to remain in the circulation for a reasonable period of time. Current technology to prolong the circulation of nanoparticles utilizes surface modification. This is an expensive, cumbersome process that also increases the hydrostatic diameter of the particles that can interfere with passive targeting of nanoparticles in cancer treatment.
SDSU researchers have developed a novel approach to enhance the circulation time of polymeric nanoparticles by modifying them to attach to the surface of Red Blood Cells in-situ. This interaction is non-covalent and reversible and the nanoparticles were found to exhibit enhanced circulation time greater than that of poly-ethylene glycol modified nanoparticles.
The novel approach has a longer circulation time than PEGylation, a lower cost of the technology, simplicity of the technology and no immune response. This platform technology can be used in nanotherapeutics for cancer, nanodiagnostics and nanotechnology for brain delivery. Additionally the approach can be applied to any particulate delivery systems such as liposomes, micelles, dendrimers, metal particles and protein particles.