Cellular capsules deliver drugs

Drug capsules manufactured by living cells help drugs evade immune attack.

Megan Scudellari
Jun 20, 2011

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, TOM VARCO

A major problem in drug delivery research is the fact that the body rapidly gets rid of drugs and nanoparticles because they are viewed as foreign objects. Now, for the first time, researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Germany have used living cells to manufacture cell membrane capsules to enclose and deliver drugs. These "humanized" vehicles, as the authors call them, evaded recognition by human macrophages when exposed to the cells in vitro. They also have built-in protein channels that can be utilized for controlled release of drugs. The capsules can be made from a wide range of cells, enabling them to be tailored for specific use based the desired membrane composition. The study was published May 11 in Nano Letters.

 

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