Current concepts in the synthesis of nanocarriers primarily involve the use of polymers or lipids to fabricate self-assembled or emulsion-based particles that are mostly spherical, polydisperse, and release drugs through diffusion or hydrolysis. Although significant progress has been made in such drug delivery systems, there remain critical limitations in synthesizing nanocarriers with highly controllable architecture (size, shape or aspect ratio) that can, at the same time, impart environmentally-triggered release mechanisms. These parameters are essential for controlling the in-vivo transport, biodistribution, and drug release mechanism of nanoparticles. Here we report the development of a novel Step & Flash Imprint Lithography (S-FIL) method to fabricate highly monodisperse, shape-specific, biodegradable nanocarriers that release drugs or contrast agents only in response to a tumor-specific microenvironment. We have successfully generated uniform nanocarriers, as small as 50nm, having various shapes and aspect ratios. These particles are easily harvested from the silicon wafers using a biocompatible, one step release process. We also demonstrate efficient encapsulation and successful enzyme-triggered release of model drugs (proteins and nucleic acids) from these nanoparticles. The surfaces of these nanocarriers can be easily functionalized with cell targeting ligands. Further studies evaluating intracellular drug delivery and targeted drug release are currently underway.
Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 2, Nanotechnology 2008: Life Sciences, Medicine & Bio Materials – Technical Proceedings of the 2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 2
Published: June 1, 2008
Pages: 415 - 418
Industry sector: Medical & Biotech
Topicss: Biomaterials, Materials for Drug & Gene Delivery