My watch list
my.chemeurope.com  
Login  

New 'self-exploding' microcapsules could take sting out of drug delivery

04-Jan-2006

Belgian chemists have developed "self-exploding" microcapsules that could one day precisely release drugs and vaccines inside the human body weeks or even months after injection. The study, by researchers at Ghent University and the Universite Catholique de Louvain, is scheduled to appear in the American Chemical Society's journal Biomacromolecules.

Unlike some other microcapsules, which release their drug cargo only when exposed to ultrasonic waves or another external trigger, the new system relies on internal mechanisms to do the same job. Each of the new microparticles features a biodegradable gel core that is surrounded by a lipid membrane. As the gel biodegrades, pressure builds up in the membrane. Eventually the microcapsule ruptures, releasing the medication.

The system, the researchers note, could change how some vaccines are administered. Instead of an initial injection followed by a series of boosters, for instance, certain vaccines could be given in a single shot with the "booster" microcapsules timed to rupture at appropriate intervals.

Facts, background information, dossiers
  • vaccines
  • pressure
  • Ghent University
  • drug delivery
  • American Chemical Society
More about American Chemical Society
  • News

    A chameleon-inspired smart skin changes color in the sun

    Some creatures, such as chameleons and neon tetra fish, can alter their colors to camouflage themselves, attract a mate or intimidate predators. Scientists have tried to replicate these abilities to make artificial "smart skins," but so far the materials haven't been robust. Now, researcher ... more

    Making polyurethane waste degradable gives its components a second life

    Polyurethane waste is piling up in landfills, but scientists have a possible solution: They have developed a method to make polyurethane degradable. Once the original product's useful life is over, the polymer can easily be dissolved into ingredients to make new products such as superglue. ... more

    Fungal compound deodorizes skunk smell

    Being sprayed by a skunk is no fun for people or their pets, and the strong, stinky secretions can serve as a nasty reminder of the wildlife encounter for days or weeks. Available "de-skunking" formulas often either don't work well or can irritate the skin and eyes. Now, researchers reporti ... more

  • Videos

    What Makes Rubber Rubbery?

    Reactions is looking at sports science today. Sports balls owe their reliability to an unusual polymer. Learn about the chemistry of rubber the all-star’s best friend! more

    Dragon's Blood Could Save Your Life

    This week Reactions is looking at chemistry in bizarre places that could save your life. The science within the blood of the Komodo dragon or in a horseshoe crab can help with antibiotic resistance. But it doesn't end there, so we're taking a closer look at other wild places in nature that ... more

    Why is Olive Oil Awesome?

    Whether you sop it up with bread or use it to boost your cooking, olive oil is awesome. But a lot of chemistry goes on in that bottle that can make or break a product. Take the “extra virgin” standard: Chemistry tells us that a higher free-fatty-acid content leads to a lower grade, less tas ... more

More about Ghent University
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE