By Cameron Chai
Scientists have developed natural capsules that were made from living human cells having channels to introduce drugs and diagnostic agents effectively in the human body.
The report was published in ACS' journal Nano Letters. This discovery paved the way to effectively encapsulate medicines so that it reaches the diseased portions of the human body.
Dayang Wang and co-workers stated that the human body is capable of flushing out foreign materials effectively. Some foreign materials like viruses can cause harm and must be eliminated. But the human body also treats drugs and nanoparticles that are capable of curing diseases and enables doctors to view living cells and organs as foreign materials and rapidly flushes them out.
Scientists believe that drugs can be retained in the human body by carefully encapsulating them in coatings synthesized from materials that appear like natural human cells. Researchers have tried doing this using several artificial coatings, but they could not retain the capsules for a long duration in the body. Wang and colleagues made a capsule from living cells that acted as an “invisibility cloak”.
The team developed the cell membrane capsules (CMCs) from genuine living cells that fooled the human body into thinking that they were no foreign substance. As a result, drugs and nanoparticles, encapsulated within CMCs could be retained in the body for longer duration than using other encapsulation materials. The researchers stated that the CMCs are the first biocompatible and practical drug delivery and release vehicles.