Nanoparticles Make Drugs Easy to Swallow | AIChE

Nanoparticles Make Drugs Easy to Swallow


Engineers from the Univ. of Utah have modified nanoparticles to enhance their uptake in the gastrointestinal tract. This development could be harnessed to create novel drug delivery agents that could be swallowed, rather than injected.

Many previous studies have looked at nanoparticles as potential drug delivery vehicles. The tiny particles are small enough to flow through human capillaries and squeeze around cells. In addition, scientists can easily customize nanoparticles with fluorescent tags, targeting ligands, or drug cargoes.

However, nanoparticles are not readily absorbed by the human gastrointestinal tract. Thus, the particles would need to be injected at the site of interest or into the bloodstream to ensure optimal drug uptake. But when it comes to taking medications, most patients would much rather swallow a pill than visit their doctor for an injection.

You Han Bae, a professor of bioengineering at the Univ. of Utah, set out to create a nanoparticle that could be swallowed and readily absorbed within the intestine. He theorized that by coating nanoparticles with bile acids, he could take advantage of a naturally occurring process in the body in which bile acids move digested fats from the gastrointestinal tract to...

Would you like to access the complete CEP News Update?

No problem. You just have to complete the following steps.

You have completed 0 of 2 steps.

  1. Log in

    You must be logged in to view this content. Log in now.

  2. AIChE Membership

    You must be an AIChE member to view this article. Join now.

Copyright Permissions 

Would you like to reuse content from CEP Magazine? It’s easy to request permission to reuse content. Simply click here to connect instantly to licensing services, where you can choose from a list of options regarding how you would like to reuse the desired content and complete the transaction.