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Nano Today

Ahil N Ganesh, Eric N Donders, Brian K Shoichet, Molly S Shoichet
It is well known that small molecule colloidal aggregation is a leading cause of false positives in early drug discovery. Colloid-formers are diverse and well represented among corporate and academic screening decks, and even among approved drugs. Less appreciated is how colloid formation by drug-like compounds fits into the wider understanding of colloid physical chemistry. Here we introduce the impact that colloidal aggregation has had on early drug discovery, and then turn to the physical and thermodynamic driving forces for small molecule colloidal aggregation, including the particulate nature of the colloids, their critical aggregation concentration-governed formation, their mechanism of protein adsorption and subsequent inhibition, and their sensitivity to detergent...
April 2018: Nano Today
S M Moghimi, D Simberg
The complement system is an important component of the innate immune system, which contributes to non-specific host defence. Particulate matters, such as invading pathogens and nanomedicines, in the blood may activate the complement system through classical, lectin and alternative pathways. Complement activation can aid recognition and clearance of particulate matters by immune cells, but uncontrolled complement activation can inflict damage and be life threatening. Plasma proteins on adsorption to surfaces of nanoparticles also play a significant role in complement activation and particularly through the alternative pathway...
August 2017: Nano Today
Shabir Hassan, Gyan Prakash, Aycabal Ozturk, Saghi Saghazadeh, Mohammad Farhan Sohail, Jungmok Seo, Mehmet Dockmeci, Yu Shrike Zhang, Ali Khademhosseini
With the advent of technology, the role of nanomaterials in medicine has grown exponentially in the last few decades. The main advantage of such materials has been exploited in drug delivery applications, due to their effective targeting that in turn reduces systemic toxicity compared to the conventional routes of drug administration. Even though these materials offer broad flexibility based on targeting tissue, disease, and drug payload, the demand for more effective yet highly biocompatible nanomaterial-based drugs is increasing...
August 2017: Nano Today
Pengfei Zhang, Gang Liu, Xiaoyuan Chen
The increasingly rapid pace of research in the field of bioinspired drug delivery systems is revealing the promise of cell membrane-based nanovesicles for biomedical applications. Those cell membrane-based nanoparticles combine the natural functionalities of cell plasma membranes and the bioengineering flexibility of synthetic nanomaterials, and such versatility provides a means of designing exciting new drug formulations for personalized treatment in future nanomedicine.
April 2017: Nano Today
Mengqian Lu, Adem Ozcelik, Christopher L Grigsby, Yanhui Zhao, Feng Guo, Kam W Leong, Tony Jun Huang
Microfluidics expands the synthetic space such as heat transfer, mass transport, and reagent consumption to conditions not easily achievable in conventional batch processes. Hydrodynamic focusing in particular enables the generation and study of complex engineered nanostructures and new materials systems. In this review, we present an overview of recent progress in the synthesis of nanostructures and microfibers using microfluidic hydrodynamic focusing techniques. Emphasis is placed on distinct designs of flow focusing methods and their associated mechanisms, as well as their applications in material synthesis, determination of reaction kinetics, and study of synthetic mechanisms...
December 2016: Nano Today
JingJing Zhang, FangFang Cheng, JingJing Li, Jun-Jie Zhu, Yi Lu
Recent advances in nanoscale science and technology have generated nanomaterials with unique optical properties. Over the past decade, numerous fluorescent nanoprobes have been developed for highly sensitive and selective sensing and imaging of metal ions, both in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we provide an overview of the recent development of the design and optical properties of the different classes of fluorescent nanoprobes based on noble metal nanomaterials, upconversion nanoparticles, semiconductor quantum dots, and carbon-based nanomaterials...
June 2016: Nano Today
Yong Lin Kong, Maneesh K Gupta, Blake N Johnson, Michael C McAlpine
The ability to three-dimensionally interweave biological and functional materials could enable the creation of bionic devices possessing unique and compelling geometries, properties, and functionalities. Indeed, interfacing high performance active devices with biology could impact a variety of fields, including regenerative bioelectronic medicines, smart prosthetics, medical robotics, and human-machine interfaces. Biology, from the molecular scale of DNA and proteins, to the macroscopic scale of tissues and organs, is three-dimensional, often soft and stretchable, and temperature sensitive...
June 2016: Nano Today
Tsukasa Mizuhara, Daniel F Moyano, Vincent M Rotello
The surface properties of nanoparticles (NPs) dictate their interaction with the outside world. The use of precisely designed molecular ligands to control NP surface properties provides an important toolkit for modulating their interaction with biological systems, facilitating their use in biomedicine. In this review we will discuss the application of the atom-by-atom control provided by organic synthesis to the generation of engineered nanoparticles, with emphasis on how the functionalization of NPs with these "small" organic molecules (Mw < 1,000) can be used to engineer NPs for a wide range of applications...
February 2016: Nano Today
Neda Habibi, Nazila Kamaly, Adnan Memic, Hadi Shafiee
Self-assembly of peptides can yield an array of well-defined nanostructures that are highly attractive nanomaterials for many biomedical applications such as drug delivery. Some of the advantages of self-assembled peptide nanostructures over other delivery platforms include their chemical diversity, biocompatibility, high loading capacity for both hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs, and their ability to target molecular recognition sites. Furthermore, these self-assembled nanostructures could be designed with novel peptide motifs, making them stimuli-responsive and achieving triggered drug delivery at disease sites...
February 2016: Nano Today
Wang Ma, Andrew G Cheetham, Honggang Cui
The convergence of nanoscience and drug delivery has prompted the formation of the field of nanomedicine, one that exploits the novel physicochemical and biological properties of nanostructures for improved medical treatments and reduced side effects. Until recently, this nanostructure-mediated strategy considered the drug to be solely a biologically active compound to be delivered, and its potential as a molecular building unit remained largely unexplored. A growing trend within nanomedicine has been the use of drug molecules to build well-defined nanostructures of various sizes and shapes...
February 2016: Nano Today
Bomy Lee Chung, Michael J Toth, Nazila Kamaly, Yoshitaka J Sei, Jacob Becraft, Willem J M Mulder, Zahi A Fayad, Omid C Farokhzad, YongTae Kim, Robert Langer
The endothelium lines the internal surfaces of blood and lymphatic vessels and has a critical role in maintaining homeostasis. Endothelial dysfunction is involved in the pathology of many diseases and conditions, including disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. Given this common etiology in a range of diseases, medicines targeting an impaired endothelium can strengthen the arsenal of therapeutics. Nanomedicine - the application of nanotechnology to healthcare - presents novel opportunities and potential for the treatment of diseases associated with an impaired endothelium...
December 1, 2015: Nano Today
Junfeng Shi, Bing Xu
Being driven by non-covalent interactions, the formation of functional assemblies (or aggregates) of small molecules at nanoscale is a more common process in water than one would think. While most efforts on self-assembly in cellular environment concentrate on the assemblies of proteins (e.g., microtubules or amyloid fibers), nanoscale assemblies of small molecules are emerging functional entities that exhibit important biological function in cellular environments. This review describes the increasing efforts on the exploration of nanoscale assemblies of small molecules that largely originate from the serendipitous observations in research fields other than nanoscience and technology...
October 2015: Nano Today
Hui Li, Taek Lee, Thomas Dziubla, Fengmei Pi, Sijin Guo, Jing Xu, Chan Li, Farzin Haque, Xing-Jie Liang, Peixuan Guo
The value of polymers is manifested in their vital use as building blocks in material and life sciences. Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a polynucleic acid, but its polymeric nature in materials and technological applications is often overlooked due to an impression that RNA is seemingly unstable. Recent findings that certain modifications can make RNA resistant to RNase degradation while retaining its authentic folding property and biological function, and the discovery of ultra-thermostable RNA motifs have adequately addressed the concerns of RNA unstability...
October 1, 2015: Nano Today
Alina Y Rwei, Weiping Wang, Daniel S Kohane
Externally triggerable drug delivery systems provide a strategy for the delivery of therapeutic agents preferentially to a target site, presenting the ability to enhance therapeutic efficacy while reducing side effects. Light is a versatile and easily tuned external stimulus that can provide spatiotemporal control. Here we will review the use of nanoparticles in which light triggers drug release or induces particle binding to tissues (phototargeting).
August 1, 2015: Nano Today
Alexander S Cheung, David J Mooney
Immunotherapy is a promising treatment modality for cancer as it can promote specific and durable anti-cancer responses. However, limitations to current approaches remain. Therapeutics administered as soluble injections often require high doses and frequent re-dosing, which can result in systemic toxicities. Soluble bolus-based vaccine formulations typically elicit weak cellular immune responses, limiting their use for cancer. Current methods for ex vivo T cell expansion for adoptive T cell therapies are suboptimal, and achieving high T cell persistence and sustained functionality with limited systemic toxicity following transfer remains challenging...
August 1, 2015: Nano Today
Heather Herd Gustafson, Dolly Holt-Casper, David W Grainger, Hamidreza Ghandehari
Phagocytes are key cellular participants determining important aspects of host exposure to nanomaterials, initiating clearance, biodistribution and the tenuous balance between host tolerance and adverse nanotoxicity. Macrophages in particular are believed to be among the first and primary cell types that process nanoparticles, mediating host inflammatory and immunological biological responses. These processes occur ubiquitously throughout tissues where nanomaterials are present, including the host mononuclear phagocytic system (MPS) residents in dedicated host filtration organs (i...
August 2015: Nano Today
Gregor Fuhrmann, Inge K Herrmann, Molly M Stevens
Extracellular vesicles are small lipid-based membrane-bound entities shed by cells under both physiological and pathological conditions. Their discovery as intercellular communicators through transfer of nucleic acid- and protein-based cargos between cells locally and at distance in a highly specific manner has created recent excitement. The information they transport and their composition may vary depending on the cell of origin as well as the eliciting stimulus. Such sensitive changes in vesicle characteristics hold significant promise for the improved diagnosis of pathological conditions, including infections and neoplastic lesions in a minimally invasive way...
June 1, 2015: Nano Today
Marina Talelli, Matthias Barz, Cristianne J Rijcken, Fabian Kiessling, Wim E Hennink, Twan Lammers
Polymeric micelles (PM) are extensively used to improve the delivery of hydrophobic drugs. Many different PM have been designed and evaluated over the years, and some of them have steadily progressed through clinical trials. Increasing evidence suggests, however, that for prolonged circulation times and for efficient EPR-mediated drug targeting to tumors and to sites of inflammation, PM need to be stabilized, to prevent premature disintegration. Core-crosslinking is among the most popular methods to improve the in vivo stability of PM, and a number of core-crosslinked polymeric micelles (CCPM) have demonstrated promising efficacy in animal models...
February 1, 2015: Nano Today
Weiqiang Chen, Yue Shao, Xiang Li, Gang Zhao, Jianping Fu
During embryogenesis and tissue maintenance and repair in an adult organism, a myriad of stem cells are regulated by their surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM) enriched with tissue/organ-specific nanoscale topographical cues to adopt different fates and functions. Attributed to their capability of self-renewal and differentiation into most types of somatic cells, stem cells also hold tremendous promise for regenerative medicine and drug screening. However, a major challenge remains as to achieve fate control of stem cells in vitro with high specificity and yield...
December 1, 2014: Nano Today
Seiji Miura, Hidenori Suzuki, You Han Bae
Limited drug distribution is partially responsible for the efficacy gap between preclinical and clinical studies of nano-sized drug carriers for cancer therapy. In this study, we examined the transport behavior of cationic micelles formed from a triblock copolymer of poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide)-block-branched polyethyleneimine-block-poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) using a unique in vitro tumor model composed of a multilayered cell culture (MCC) and an Ussing chamber system. The Cy3-labeled cationic micelles showed remarkable Cy3 distribution in the MCC whereas charge-shielded micelles with a poly(ethylene glycol) surface accumulated on the surface of the MCC...
December 1, 2014: Nano Today
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