New material for programmable drug-eluting stents

Chemical & Engineering News has reported on research out of North Carolina into a new class of bioabsorbable materials that can be precisely programmed to degrade by hydrolysis in hours, days, weeks or months under the acidic conditions found in target tissues. This could lay the foundation for a new generation of biodegradable materials that can be shaped into drug-eluting particles, sutures and coronary stents for medical applications.

The research comes from Matthew Parrott, Joseph DeSimone, and coworkers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University. They applied the chemistry to design easy-to-make materials that are nontoxic and degrade under the acidic conditions in tumor tissue, inflammatory tissue and diseased cells, reports C&E News.

The technology has been licensed to Liquidia Technologies, a spinout from DeSimone's labs. DeSimone told the magazine that Liquidia will use the new materials to fabricate "Trojan horse" particles to deliver chemotherapy agents and vaccines, as well as drug-eluting coronary stents.

- read the abstract in the Journal of the American Chemical Society
- and the report in C&E News