[M]any chemotherapeutic agents […] cause serious side effects because they kill healthy cells in addition to cancer cells; some forms of cancer develop resistance to drugs; and many such chemotherapies, being poorly water-soluble, demonstrate low bio-availability resulting in sub-optimal drug delivery to cancer cells.
A potential solution lies in the synergistic combination of a chemotherapeutic drug with engineered genetic material designed to neutralize the malevolent genes conferring resistance to that drug, among other functions.
New hybrid materials developed in the lab at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering use easily modifiable proteins to deliver a chemical one-two punch: they combine a lipid “container” for transfection—the transportation of cargo past a cell membrane—and an easy-to-make protein capsule that can bind both small chemotherapeutic molecules and nucleic acids.
“Unlike other pursuits at producing dual gene and drug delivery systems, this approach doesn’t require tedious chemical synthesis procedures; rather we can biosynthesize any variant of the supercharged protein,” [Jin Kim Montclare, an Affiliate Professor of Chemistry at NYU] said. “This allows for substituting different siRNA molecules and chemotherapeutic drugs to suit lab needs.”
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Researchers create biomaterial that delivers both a powerful drug and gene silencers