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Innovations in Cancer Therapy via Specialized Nanoparticles

Posted Aug 16 2013 10:08pm
Posted on Aug. 13, 2013, 6 a.m. in Nanotechnology Cancer
Innovations in Cancer Therapy via Specialized Nanoparticles

Purdue University (Indiana, USA) researchers have developed a concept to potentially improve delivery of drugs for cancer treatment using nanoparticles that concentrate and expand in the presence of higher acidity found in tumor cells.  The concept involves using nanoparticles made of "weak polybases," compounds that expand when transported into environments mimicking tumor cells, which have a higher acidity than surrounding tissues – a concept that the researchers term “pH phoresis.” You-Yeon Won and colleagues utilized sophisticated modeling to show how the particles would accumulate in regions of higher acidity and remain there long enough to delivery anticancer drugs.  The pH phoresis concept hinges on using synthetic "polymer micelles," tiny drug-delivery spheres that harbor medications in their inner core and contain an outer shell made of a material that has been shown to expand dramatically as the pH changes from alkaline to acidic. A twofold size increase could result in a similar increase in the efficiency of drug delivery to tumors. The study authors are hopeful that: “pH phoresis may provide a useful mechanism for improving the delivery of drugs to cancer cells in solid tumor tissues.”

Won YY, Lee H. "’pH phoresis’: A new concept that can be used for improving drug delivery to tumor cells.”  J Control Release. 2013 Jun 19;170(3):396-400.

  
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Anti-Aging Forum MLDP Join A4M
Tip #192 - Stay Connected
Researchers from the University of Chicago (Illinois, USA) report that social isolation may be detrimental to both mental and physical health. The team analyzed data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationwide US study involving 3,000 men and women, ages 57 to 85 years. They arrived at three key findings regarding the relationships between health and different types of isolation:

• The researchers found that the most socially connected older adults are three times as likely to report very good or excellent health compared to those who are least connected, regardless of whether they feel isolated.

• The team found that older adults who feel least isolated are five times as likely to report very good or excellent health as those who feel most isolated, regardless of their actual level of social connectedness.

• They determined that social disconnectedness is not related to mental health unless it brings feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Separately, Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA) researchers studied 906 older men and women, testing their motor functions (including grip, pinch strength, balance, and walking) and surveying their social activity, for a period of 5 years. Those study participants with less social activity were found to have a more rapid rate of motor function decline. Specifically, the team found that every one-point decrease in social activity corresponded to an increase in functional aging of 5 years, translating to a 40% higher risk of death and 65% higher risk of disability.

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