Nanoworms and rods are the most effective drug delivery vessels so far

nanoparticle drug delivery nanotech
Health Sciences and Nutrition, CSIRO
Nanoparticles come in many shapes and sizes, including spheres, chains, reefs, and boxes, and more. When it comes to drug delivery, however, rods and worms are the most effective forms, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Though the field of medical nanotech is still in its infancy, nanoparticles are already being used by doctors to overcome biological barriers, navigate cellular environments, and deliver anticancer drugs and vaccines deep into our bodies.

“There weren’t any tools to quantify why and how certain nanoparticle properties target their cargo.”

“There is so much work on how to modulate nanoparticle size, shape, and surface chemistry, and the impact this has on overall drug delivery efficacy, that is starting to look really promising,” Dr. Justin Gooding, University of New South Wales (UNSW) researcher and co-author of the study, told Digital Trends. “People are beginning to work out the design rules for these particles but we realized there weren’t any tools to quantify why and how certain nanoparticle properties target their cargo to certain cell types or organelles.”

Along with the UNSW team, Gooding set out to establish tools by which other researchers could test how well their nanoparticles navigate the body and make them more effective as drug delivery vessels — so his team developed a new method to track the nanoparticles and quantify how cells impact their transit.

In the study, the researchers labeled four nanoparticle shapes — rod, worms, and two spheres — with different fluorescent colors and measured how effectively the nanoparticles navigated cells.

They found that nanorods and nano worms passed cellular barriers via simple diffusion while the spherical shapes did not.

“Our results suggest that rod and worm-shaped nanoparticles are more effective at obtaining access to the nucleus because their dimensions allow for translocation across the nuclear pore complex by passive diffusion,” Gooding said, “as opposed to micelles and vesicles [the spheres] which appear to only gain access during cell division.”

The results of this study and the new microscopy method developed by the UNSW team may help scientists target certain cell types more effectively, designing nanoparticle systems to perform specific tasks while testing their designs for efficiency.


Doubts emerge over when LG will reveal its folding smartphone

LG may be working on a folding smartphone, making it the latest device manufacturer to be linked to the technology, which may become one of the standout designs of the coming year.

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Smart Home

Knock, knock. Who's there? With a video doorbell, you'll never have to guess

When it comes to knowing who's at your door before you actually open it, there's nothing better than a video doorbell. Plus, you can "answer" the door even if you're not home. Here are some of our favorites.

Amazon is slashing its prices on an array of top blenders

Quality blenders from Vitamix to Ninja and more are on sale at Amazon — just in time to gift them for Christmas. They're great for preparing tasty treats, and as a kitchen staple, they make a great gift for the budding chef in your life.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…

REI clearance sale extends discounts on Garmin, Fitbit, and GoPro devices

Beyond the things you typically expect to find at REI — like tents, skis, and jackets — there are tons of great deals on quality tech foryour outdoor adventures. From smartwatches to action cameras, here are the best tech deals.
Smart Home

Alexa’s latest skill helps patients manage high blood pressure

People who need some help managing their high blood pressure are getting some help via a new Alexa skill developed in partnership with Omron Healthcare that will work directly with the manufacturer's monitors.

How to use the ECG app, set up irregular rhythm notifications on the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Series 4 is the best smartwatch iPhone owners can own, and it just got even better with the addition of the ECG app and ability to identify irregular heart rhythms. Here's how to set it all up.

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.
Emerging Tech

There’s a new lab-grown meat startup on the block — and it has a secret weapon

Aleph Farms is developing lab-grown steaks with the same flavor, shape, texture, and structure as the real thing using beef cells isolated from living cows. Coming soon to a store near you?
Emerging Tech

CRISPR gene therapy regulates hunger, staves off severe obesity in mice

Researchers from UC San Francisco have demonstrated how CRISPR gene editing can be used to prevent severe obesity in mice, without making a single edit to the mouse's genome. Here's how.

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!