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By Biocat

The team led by researcher Antoni Villaverde, from the UAB Institute of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (IBB), has shown the value of nanoparticles as natural nanopills with a great capacity to penetrate cells and carry out biologic activities. The nanopill concept is a promising new drug-delivery platform.

The results and detailed description were published this week in the prestigious journal Advanced Materials.

This multidisciplinary study involved, in addition to scientists from the IBB, the UAB departments of Genetics and Microbiology and of Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology, the CIBER-BBN, CIBER-EHD, Janus Developments, Leibniz University of Hannover (Germany) and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (Germany).

The scientists, in a multidisciplinary study led by Dr. Esther Vàzquez, packaged four proteins with different therapeutic potential, into experimental nanopills, the inclusion bodies in the Escherichia coli bacteria. Afterwards, they put these bacteria into cell cultures from mammals with similar conditions as would be found in a real clinical pathology, and were able to recover activity in these cells. Finally, they tested tolerance in in vivo delivery.

The use of inclusion bodies as therapeutic agents has been patented by the UAB and CIBER-BBN, and licensed to biotechnology company Janus Developments, which is currently investing in developing this product.

Reference article: Vázquez, E., Corchero, J. L., Burgueño, J. F., Seras-Franzoso, J., Kosoy, A., Bosser, R., Mendoza, R., Martínez-Láinez, J. M., Rinas, U., Fernández, E., Ruiz-Avila, L., García-Fruitós, E. and Villaverde, A. (2012), Functional Inclusion Bodies Produced in Bacteria as Naturally Occurring Nanopills for Advanced Cell Therapies (Adv. Mater. doi: 10.1002/adma.201104330).

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