Drugs delivered: Inflammatory, cancer drugs
Innovation: Hidden drugs that bypass immune system
Research organization: Methodist Hospital Research Institute
Earlier this year, researchers at the Methodist Hospital Research Institute in Houston created nanoparticles that act like white blood cells. The reason they act that way: They're cloaked in the membranes of those very same cells.
By removing the membranes from human blood cells--with all the lipids and proteins included--the scientists were able to "trick" the immune system into accepting drug-carrying nanoparticles, called LeukoLike Vectors, hidden beneath the membranes.
And like other drug-delivering nanotech, the cloaked particles allow for a very specific targeting mechanism. These vehicles could deliver treatments for inflamed tissue as well as cancer drugs. And the scientists are working on a way to synthesize the membranes to make the drugs more widely available.