Small packages delivering huge results
12 July 2013
University of Melbourne researchers have developed an efficient system to coat tiny objects, such as bacterial cells, with thin films that assemble themselves which could have important implications for drug delivery as well as biomedical and environmental applications.
Published today in the journal Science, Professor Frank Caruso from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Melbourne and his team have developed a new strategy to coat microscopic materials, leading to a new-generation particle system with engineered properties.
This is expected to underpin advances in the delivery of therapeutics in the areas of cancer, vaccines, cardiovascular disease and neural health.
The capsules can be engineered to degrade under different conditions, providing opportunities for the timed release of substances contained inside the capsules.
"Nanoengineered capsules are attracting much attention as drug carriers, as they have the potential to improve the delivery and effectiveness of drugs while reducing their side effects," he said
"Our engineered particle system can be assembled rapidly from naturally occurring materials (minerals and nutrients) with specific physical and chemical properties, making it a versatile platform for various applications."
Professor Caruso is an Australian Research Council Australian Laureate Fellow with interests in engineered materials, polymer science, biomolecular engineering and molecular recognition.
He has been named in the Top 20 Material Scientists in the world by Thomson Reuters for citation impact in the last decade.