Friday, October 31, 2008

Self-Assembling Hydrogel - A New Drug Delivery System

Hydrogels have been around for for quite some time now. And despite their utility, their toxic components, and use as drug carriers have been their popular shortcomings. However, recently a self-assembling version of the pharmaceutical raw material has been developed, which is claimed to be biocompatible.

If you are new to hydrogels, then simply put, it's a gel in which water is the continuous phase and it has a myriad medical and industrial applications.

During the course of their study, instead to reinventing the wheel, researchers went about exploring means by which medically approved drugs can be converted into amphiphilic molecules which can self assemble. Finding new uses of the already approved pharmaceutical excipients seems to be a slick way to tackle the issue of the time it takes to get a new molecule of pharmaceutical ingredients approved.

And now the researchers' efforts have led them to develop structures capable of delivering high concentrations of pharmaceutical drugs minus the negative side effects. It still the beginning, an important one though, because this method can be a stepping stone for making drug-based delivery carriers which can release a number of drugs e.g. anti-inflammatory drugs.

This research conducted by scientists from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology (HST) will be published in the journal, Biomaterials.

Hydrogels have seen a number of developments over the years and the new research is the most recent advancement for using them as controlled drug delivery vehicles. This research is also important as it might even help eliminate the need for an external carrier for as a means of drug delivery.

On the lines of innovation healthcare, Video Game Surgery and Sick (Man)nequins seem to be intriguing as well.

No comments: