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Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Nov 9 / Patricia Domanski

Rapid Drug Release from Magnetic Microgels

Article written by WSU Physicist, Dr. Gavin Lawes

Although chemotherapy is one of the most potent tools developed for treating cancer, the toxicity of the chemotherapy drugs often leads to undesirable side effects, which can significantly impact a patient’s quality-of-life. In order to limit the toxic effects of these drugs, there is considerable interest in establishing techniques to selectively control their release in the body.

In a paper recently appearing on-line in the Journal of Materials Chemistry, researchers from Wayne State University and Kettering University present a study showing that the anti-cancer drug mitroxantrone can be released from a temperature responsive polymer by the application of an external magnetic field. The key to developing this response was to incorporate magnetic nanoparticles in the polymer, which produce a strong response to the magnetic field. While similar effects have been observed previously over long timescales, this particular system exhibited a large release of the anti-cancer drug in only a few minutes, potentially making this approach compatible with other treatment modalities. Although these results were obtained on samples measured in vitro, the research team is planning to pursue in vitro studies on animal models to test the applicability of this technique.

The senior researchers associated with this project are Gavin Lawes and Ratna Naik from the Department of Physics and Astronomy and David Oupicky from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Wayne State University, together with Prem Vaishnava from Kettering University. Graduate students Rajesh Regmi from Physics and Amit Wani from Pharmacy were primarily responsible for the laboratory work.

To view the abstract of this paper, go to: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c0jm00844c