Liposomes are vesicles formed from lipid bilayers and are used widely as drug delivery systems. However, liposomes are restricted in their applications in the body due to their limited stability in the presence of serum and other blood components, leading to leakage of the encapsulated drug prior to reaching the intended target site. Nanoparticle-based platforms are more stable delivery systems and this technology is being rapidly taken up by the pharmaceutical industry. The global sales of nanoparticles in 2012 were $52 billion, and this market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 4% due to the development of new nanoparticle drugs.
To overcome the disadvantages of liposomes, researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a new lipid-biopolymer based nanoparticle system that is stable in the body and delivers the drug to the target site without premature material degradation.
Lipid-biopolymer hybrid nanoparticles for drug delivery applications
Multi-lamellar lipid vesicles are networked and cross-linked with biopolymers of opposing charges using alkyne-azide click chemistry to form serum-stable delivery vehicles. In this synthesis process, the drugs are not exposed to any organic solvents, thus making this system suitable for delivering biomolecules such as peptides, proteins and nucleic acids, as well as other small molecules. In addition to drug delivery, these systems can also be used to deliver antibodies/antigens to stimulate specific immune responses, which are useful in treating infectious diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C.
- Delivery of peptide, protein, antibody-based therapeutics for cancer, regenerative medicine, and vaccine applications
- Improved stability in serum compared to conventional lipid vesicles (i.e. liposomes) for in vivo delivery of biomacromolecules
- Nanoparticles allow stable delivery of wide range of hydrophilic and hydrophobic drugs, including small molecule drugs, peptides, and proteins
- No loss in drugs due to exposure to organic solvents or conjugation to the delivery platforms