APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Drug delivery, including controlled-release formulations
- Vaccine and immunotherapy
- Gene therapy
- Sutures, scaffolds, and implantable bulk materials
- Diagnosis and imaging
- Site-specific delivery, accurate therapeutic targeting
- Payload release or degradation rate can be tuned easily—from minutes to hours to days—to fit requirements of specific drug delivery applications
- More versatile alternative to poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA)
- Biocompatible material reverts to neutral byproducts, unlike acidic products formed from PLGA
- Easily prepared
While it is often useful to release therapeutic agents under mildly acidic conditions, as in inflammation sites, lysosomal compartments, or tumor tissue, few existing materials developed for drug delivery are both acid-sensitive and biodegradable. Addressing this gap, Jean Fréchet and a team of Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a new class of polymers that can encapsulate proteins, DNA/RNA material, and other bioactive agents for vaccines, drug delivery, gene therapy, or any application that demands materials with precise control over the release of encapsulated cargoes.
The stimuli-responsive polymers, which can be easily prepared from such natural polysaccharides as dextran and maltodextrin, offer the flexibility and biocompatibility of polyester materials and the added benefit of precise control over degradation rates. The polymers can be processed to form particles, bulk materials, or implants that can be used to deliver proteins, vaccines, drugs (including chemotherapeutic agents), genetic materials, or other bioactive materials.
In the human body, the polymers can release their payload or be eroded over time, breaking down into neutral byproducts that can be safely eliminated. Materials made from the polymers can be engineered to degrade at specific rates, ranging from a day to many months at physiological pH, depending on the formulation used. At lysosomal pH these materials degrade at rates ranging from minutes to hours.
- Published Patent Application PCT/US2009/049415 available at www.wipo.int. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
To learn more about licensing a technology from LBNL see http://www.lbl.gov/Tech-Transfer/licensing/index.html.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Bachelder, E. M., T.T. Beaudette, K.E. Broaders, J. Dashe, J., J.M. Fréchet, “Acetal-derivatized dextran: An acid-responsive biodegradable material for therapeutic applications,” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 130, 10494-10495 (2008).
Broaders, K. E., J.A. Cohen, T.T. Beaudette, E.M. Bachelder, J.M. Fréchet, “Acetalated dextran is a chemically and biologically tunable material for particulate immunotherapy,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online (2009).
REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-2595
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