By forming a polymer casing that can encapsulate nanoparticles to deliver them to specific locations in the human body based on the polymer spheres’ shape, researchers have developed a technology to advance biomedical treatment and diagnosis. This ability to produce polymeric particles with a size, shape, and composition that determines finely-tuned physiochemical properties is made more impressive by the scalability of the inventors’ in-fiber method of production. Greater control over size, shape, and composition of polymeric particles can advance biomedical applications including the recognition of cancer cells and other specific cell types through protein binding. Other applications include delivering DNA, therapeutic small molecules, and proteins as treatments for various medical conditions. Currently, most available methods of producing these particles are limited to narrow size spans, but because reaching different areas of tumors based on their stage of development requires different nanoparticle sizes, this advancement offers a significant improvement over other methods on the market now.
This technology is able to produce particles in sizes that bridge the micro- and nano-scales, from a variety of polymers. Also, when using the same polymer, the method’s versatility allows for many particle architectures that enable a variety of applications. The method works via in-fiber drawing of a core within a later-dissolved cladding to release the formed particles, and the particles can be designed with either or both of surface and volume (for encapsulation) functionalities in the same particle, with significant site-specific drug delivery implications. Demonstrated success shows that particles made using this method effectively function with surface protein binding for biosensing, and encapsulating biological material using collagen as a model material.
- Spans micro- and nano-scale polymeric particle production
- Combine surface and encapsulated features in one particle
- Biomedical treatment and diagnosis
- Site-specific drug delivery
- Delivery of DNA, therapeutic small molecules, and proteins