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Researchers Create Drug Delivery Nanoemulsions

Posted: September 17, 2008

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There are still challenges for drug delivery for the researchers, but they have made their first step which will include many more over the next several years. Deming and Mason speak of an anti-cancer drug in the oil and a toxin-protein in the water, both molecules trying to kill the cell simultaneously. This combination approach could be more effective then single-drug treatments for cancer. The two researchers will make sure the droplets can harmlessly enter cells and release their cargo.

In addition to pharmaceutical delivery, the nanodroplets could potentially be used in cosmetics, soaps and shampoos. The researchers are trying to take some of the key features that make proteins special and put them into synthetic materials.

Co-authors on the Nature paper are lead author Jarrod A. Hanson, a UCLA graduate student in Deming's laboratory; Connie B. Chang and Sara M. Graves, both graduate students in Mason's laboratory; and Zhibo Li, a postdoctoral scholar in Deming's laboratory. Deming received a grant from the international Human Frontiers of Science program to support Hanson's research.