19 May 2013

A Promising Avenue for Controlling Medication Release

A research team at the Université de Sherbrooke is working to develop means to deliver medication to the targeted part of the body and then release it remotely using a light from inside the carrier.

The process involves two very important steps: transporting the medication in minireceptacles called “photosensitive carriers” to a specific delivery point and “opening” them to release the medication.

4087287386-zhao2011_mc_011The breakthrough achieved by the team led by Professor Yue Zhao (professor in the Université de Sherbrooke’s Department of Chemistry) involves the second step. Until now, opening the carriers meant exposing them to visible or ultraviolet light, which only penetrates the skin superficially and is harmful for biological tissue.

Rather than investing more time in developing customized carriers for less damaging light waves, Zhao has opted for an approach in which an ultraviolent light source is created within the carriers.

The light source comes from lanthanide particles that, when exposed to less harmful infrared rays, emit ultraviolet light, which opens the carriers and delivers the medication.

The scientific advance was presented in an article in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, as well as being mentioned in several well-known journals, including Chemical & Engineering News and Therapeutic Delivery.

Source: Université de Sherbrooke
Photo credit: Michel Caron

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