researchers across the globe have been exploring nanotechnology for developing an efficient drug delivery mechanism and the new invention in the field is “Nanomicelle”.
- Nanomiscelles are small structures similar to nanoshells and nanovesicles. They are an emerging platform in targeted therapy.
- Nanomiscelles are globe-like structures.
- The outer shell is hydrophilic and the interior is hydrophobic. This dual property makes nanomicelles the perfect carrier for drug delivery.
For Cancer Treatment
- Now, nanomicelles are being used for cancer treatment.
- A team of researchers has been using nanomicelles to deliver the drug docetaxel, a commonly used drug to treat cancers such as breast, colon and lung cancer.
- The goal of cancer therapy is to destroy cancer cells without damaging healthy cells.
- Chemotherapeutics for cancer treatment are highly toxic.
- Docetaxel being a hydrophobic drug is dissolved in a chemical mixture (polysorbate-80 and alcohol) which aggravates its toxicity. It affects the liver, lungs, and blood cells.
- Here lies the importance of nanomicelles as efficient drug carriers.
- Nanomicelles are around 100nm in size.
- They are stable at room temperature.
- When injected intravenously, nanomiscelles escape the circulation and reach the solid tumors where the blood vessels are leaky. In healthy organs, the leaky blood vessels are absent.
- Due to chemical conjugation, the phospholipid docetaxel prodrug remains silent in the circulation.
- But in the cancer cells, the enzymes will cleave the bond, the drug gets activated and the cancer cells are killed.
- The effectiveness of the nanomicelles has been tested on mice with breast tumor model.
- Tumor regression is found in the model and toxicity is very less compared to the currently used FDA-approved drug formulation.
- Further promising results were found in higher organisms like rats, rabbits and rhesus monkeys.
Mode of Action
- Nanomiscelles work by enhancing the expression of tumor suppressor genes.
- The team is now working on developing a nanomicelle that can carry multiple drugs for increasing the treatment effectiveness of individual drugs.
- According to the team, nanomicelles are extremely cost-effective and will become the next generation chemotherapeutic.
The team working on nanomicelles is Indian which earlier has developed a hydrogel drug delivery system to carry a three-drug combination for cancer treatment. Compared to the hydrogel mechanism, the team bets big on nanomicelles.