Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Disguising Drugs

PostedNovember 15, 2012

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Randy Atkins: Sending drugs into the body to fight cancer is truly like a combat mission. If detected, the immune system destroys the medicines in minutes, but if they can...

Liangfang Zhang: …stay longer in the system, they will have a longer time to circulate in the bloodstream to find the diseased cells or the tumor sites.

Randy Atkins: Liangfang Zhang, a University of California San Diego engineer, says a good camouflage helps, so he’s wrapping tiny drugs – called nanoparticles – with a red blood cell membrane cloak…either from matching blood bank types, or better…

Liangfang Zhang: You can actually collect the blood from the patient himself and then you use these blood cells to make the nanoparticle.

Randy Atkins: Such disguised drugs lasted in mice for almost two days. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.

ANCHOR TAG: Human trials of this technique are several years away.