Sunday, August 29, 2010

Microcapsule Nanotube Devices for Targeted Oral Delivery of Therapeutic Molecules

McGill University  inventors disclose in U.S. Patent Application 20100215724 microcapsule nanotube devices for targeted delivery of therapeutic molecules.

According to Satya Prakash,  Hongmei Chen, Pavan Raja, Omkaram Nalamasu and Pulickel M. Ajayan, a nanotube device comprises a gel matrix that includes microcapsules and functionalized nanotubes, or other functionalized nanostructures incorporated into gel matrix. The pharmaceutical compositions of the  invention enable the specific and targeted delivery of therapeutic agents such as DNA molecules, peptides, including antibodies, drug molecules (e.g. small organic molecules), while offering sufficient resistance towards mucus layer of the intestine and high concentrations of enzymes and other molecules found in the blood stream and the GI tract.          

Target-specific drug delivery systems are attractive therapeutical paradigms. These systems, however, face significant obstacles. For example, gene therapy has attracted wide attention as a method to treat various diseases. The present in vivo gene therapy systems suffers from hurdles such as lack of target specificity, problems of survivability of the DNA prior to reaching the target site, transformation efficacy of the DNA once it reaches the target site, etc. This is even more challenging in the case of oral delivery of DNA, due to the difficult gastrointestinal (GI) environment, for GI specific gene therapy applications.

To overcome these challenges, several methods have been proposed including encapsulation of DNA with microcapsules for targeted delivery. The microcapsules protect the encapsulated DNA from GI environment till they reach the target site where, upon degradation, they would release DNA molecules for gene therapy. Although the principle of using microcapsules is appealing, important concerns such as microcapsule stability, leakage of the encapsulated DNA before the target site is reached, sufficient resistance towards mucus layer of the intestine, lack of target specificity, etc., still exist, precluding the use of these devices in gene therapy applications. 

Similarly, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has been proposed to be useful in delivery of therapeutic molecules, however, there application in GI targeted deliveries has not been possible. This invention deals with novel microcapsule carbon nanotube oral delivery device and their use in targeted delivery of therapeutic molecules. This novel device has various biomedical applications. 

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