There's a considerable amount of work being done in the lab to test the use of innovative nanoparticles to deliver siRNAs for a range of diseases.
At the University of Texas Health Sciences Centre in Houston a research team was presented with a problem: Using lipid nanoparticles to deliver a load of targeted chemotherapy drugs required a long course of twice-weekly injections to deliver the sustained dose necessary to treat cancer. So they developed nanoporous silicon particles to deliver siRNAs to mice which were engineered to develop ovarian cancer. The tumors in the mice shrank and toxicity levels were low or nonexistent.
"The multistage delivery system is revolutionary in that it allows the therapeutic payloads to cross the biological barriers in the body and reach their target," said team leader Mauro Ferrari, who is chairman of the Department of NanoMedicine and Biomedical Engineering at The University of Texas Medical School.
A second research team drawn from the University of Washington and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, meanwhile, used nanoporous particles to deliver a sustained dose of CTLA-4 antibodies. The team felt they could use the particles to create a "reservoir" or antibodies that could provide a sustained release of the therapy over a long period of time. They reported that tumor suppression endured for a month with no signs of toxicity.