Scientists have created programmable microparticles for drug delivery. The development is safe for living tissues, and, in addition to targeted drug delivery, it will allow the diagnosis of tissues and organs. The work of researchers at Duke University is published in the journal Nature Communications.
In the case of particles of a microscriptive size, the structure, composition, and type of material are critically important for the fulfillment of their assigned tasks. Although scientists already know how to create programmable microparticles, the technique for their production is complex and has many drawbacks.
Researchers in their work used a new approach to the production of microparticles – using biological materials.
Scientists have experimented with elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs) – disordered proteins that do not have a constant shape. This material can be used to switch between phase states at certain temperatures.
“Many researchers are trying to figure out what biological value disordered proteins can have. The essence of our work is to instead think of these proteins as material that we can use for our own biological functions in ways that cannot be achieved with other modern materials”.
Stefan Roberts, lead author of the study
According to the researchers, the ability to create microparticles with precisely separated areas can be used for drug delivery and tissue engineering.