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Recently published work by IFM researchers, featured on the cover of the latest issue of the Journal of Applied Polymer Science shows promise for treatment of colorectal cancer.
Oral delivery of anti-cancer agents is both more convenient and less painful than intravenous injection. It can also give controlled and sustained release and reduce side-effects caused by the drugs. However, the environment which they have to pass through sets strict requirements for the materials used to transport these drugs.
Yichao Wang, Lingxue Kong and colleagues in the Micro and Nano Systems group have now created a delivery vehicle for the cancer drug 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) that survives the harsh pH conditions en-route to the colorectal area.
Dispensing drugs orally to this area of the body is difficult because the delivery system has to survive different acidity levels in the stomach, duodenum and small intestine. The authors overcame this problem using poly lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) nanoparticles coated with a polymer which is insoluble in aqueous solutions of pH 7 or less.
While development is still some time in the future, the system clearly shows promise for treatment of colorectal cancer because it overcomes the often seen problem of early drug release from nanoparticles.
For more information contact: Lingxue Kong