Diamonds are a girls best friend but nanodiamonds could soon become everyone’s friend. Dean Ho, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and Robert Lam, a graduate student in Ho’s research group at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, have developed a microfilm device containing drug-laden slow release nanodiamonds.
Initial studies with Doxorubicin showed excellent pharmacokinetics, with sustained drug delivery over a one month period. The study’s control group using microfilm without nanodiamonds, dumped all the Doxorubicin within one day. Ho and Lam’s study was published yesterday in the journal ACS Nano (American Chemical Society Nano).
From Northwestern University media office:
The flexible microfilm device, which resembles a piece of plastic wrap and can be customized easily into different shapes, has the potential to transform conventional treatment strategies and reduce patients’ unnecessary exposure to toxic drugs. If a surgical oncologist, for example, was removing a tumor from the breast or brain, the device could be implanted in the affected area as part of the same surgery. This approach, which confines drug release to a specific location, could mitigate side effects and complications from other chemotherapy treatments.
To build the biomedical device, the researchers developed a streamlined approach where a double layer of parylene (an FDA approved polymer) was fabricated, with the nanodiamond-drug complexes sandwiched in between. The bottom layer, approximately 20 to 30 microns thick, serves as the backbone of the device, allowing it to be easily handled. For the top layer, the research team created a thinner semi-porous film that allows the drug to slowly release from the device.
“One of the most significant aspects of this work is that the fabrication procedures are highly scalable, meaning hundreds, or even thousands, of devices potentially could be manufactured in parallel and at low cost,” said Ho.
Abstract: Nanodiamond-Embedded Microfilm Devices for Localized Chemotherapeutic Elution ACS Nano, 2008 DOI: 10.1021/nn800465x
Press release: Nanodiamond Drug Device Could Transform Cancer Treatment…
To further understand Dr. Ho’s nanotech research and its future applications, check out these two videos produced by Nanotech Today: Nano-Engineered Medicine – Dean Ho – Pt. 1; Nano-Engineered Medicine – Dean Ho – Pt. 2