16.08.2019 change 16.08.2019

Drug nanocarrier is a salvation in inflammatory bowel diseases

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

Innovative carrier will facilitate drug transport to inflamed tissues and reduce the side effects of therapy to which inflammatory bowel disease patients are exposed. A PhD student from Łódź studies dendrimers, nano-carriers of the drug mesalazine.

Inflammatory bowel disease is a complex condition. It involves not only recurrent stomach aches and diarrhoea, but also serious complications outside the intestines. Chronic inflammation leads to lesions in small and large peripheral joints. Patients are diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis or deep vein thrombosis. The risk of colorectal cancer increases.

Environmental and genetic factors lead to impaired immune response and bowel inflammation. Crohn`s disease and ulcerative colitis are diagnosed even in young patients between 15 and 30 years of age. Accurate diagnosis and timely start of appropriate treatment is very important. Currently, the main drug used in therapy is mesalazine.

"Unfortunately, mesalazine is quickly neutralized and removed from the body. Efficient extracellular transport of the drug is necessary for its therapeutic activity. In addition, the drug causes numerous side effects: it reduces the number of bone marrow cells and destroys the nervous, cardiovascular, digestive and excretory systems, which further limits the effectiveness of therapy" -says Michał Gorzkiewicz, project leader and PhD student at the University of Lodz.

Several preparations and carriers of mesalazine have been developed to increase the intestinal concentration of the drug and improve the efficiency of therapy. The current research of scientists from the University of Lodz is aimed at using innovative micro- and nanocarriers. Researchers focus on dendrimers.

"Dendrimers are promising candidates for mesalazine nanocarriers. We will explore the possibilities of using polyamidoamine (PAMAM), one of the best-characterized compounds of this type, as a carrier. It is expected to ensure increased intracellular transport of the drug, thus increasing its anti-inflammatory potential" - Gorzkiewicz says.

He explains that dendrimers dissolve well and overcome biological barriers, which enables efficient intracellular transport. The combination of drugs with a dendrimer increases their solubility, extends the half-life in the body and protects against degradation. Dendrimers transport drugs directly to their site of action. They allow to reduce the dose while maintaining the effectiveness of therapy and eliminating unwanted side effects.

The experiments will be conducted in two intestinal epithelial cell models. Researchers from the University of Lodz will study the release of the drug from the carrier, its extracellular transport efficiency and anti-inflammatory activity.

The National Science Center has allocated nearly 140 thousand zlotys to the project "PAMAM dendrimer as a mesalazine carrier to increase the effectiveness of inflammatory bowel disease therapy - in vitro research".

PAP - Science in Poland, Karolina Duszczyk

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