For years, pharmacologists were looking for ways wherein active ingredients can be released in a sequence rather than getting released altogether. Fortunately, a team of scientists from the Technical University of Munich is currently working on a new kind of drug that can do precisely what pharmacologists are aiming for. With the mix of artificial DNA and hydrogels, the drug will be introduced to the market soon.
It is now common for patients to be treated with medications that are of different types, and they are taken by the patients at a specific time, thus limiting the patient's daily activity and making it more difficult to do them. This style has also proven that patients miss their doses.
A professor of biomechanics at the Technical University of Munich, Mr. Oliver Lieleg, and doctoral candidate Ceren Kimna have created a process that can serve as the overall basis for medications that contains numerous active ingredients that releases them in a sequence that is defined in advanced at specific period.
Since the drug is being currently used, there is no guarantee that active ingredients will not be released simultaneously. To test this, Ceren Kimna and Oliver Lieleg used nanometer-sized silver, iron oxide, and gold particles that are placed in a hydrogel.
They both used a spectroscopic method to locate the exit of the particles from the hydrogel. The researchers select these particles, and they base it on the motion characteristics that are similar within the gel to the particles that are used to transfer real active ingredients, and they are cheaper and easier to make.
The ingredient that is controlling all the nanoparticles in the gel is an artificial DNA. This DNA carries the genetic information, but the researchers are exploiting another property; thus the DNA fragments uses its ability to combine accurately, both in strengths and bonds so it can build machines on a nanometer scale.
The particles that were released were bound by DNA fragments that were made by Kimna and Lieleg using the software. The particle cluster resulted in a large particle that makes it difficult to move in the hydrogel. But when a saline solution is added, the particles separate from the DNA and they can move in the gel.
The DNA structure that is surrounding the iron oxide particles have two kinds of DNA; the first one is attached to iron oxide particles while the second one is attached to the loose ends of the first type. The structure is not affected by the saline solution, and the iron oxide particles can be released when the clusters have dissolved.
The structure can help release the DNA and the silver nanoparticles that removes the link of the DNA from the second type without creating the link on its own. This movement can result in the separation of the particles of the iron oxide and it can release fragments from the DNA and it can act as the source of the third links of DNA.