Scientists creat tiniest uniform, precisely shaped organic nanoparticles for delivering organic materials into the human body

June 21, 2005 | Source: KurzweilAI

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill chemists have developed a method of creating the world’s tiniest manufactured particles — less than 100 nanometers — for delivering drugs and other organic materials into the human body.

Until now, most current techniques for particle formation were incompatible with organic materials, according to Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone, professor of chemistry and chemical engineering at UNC and N.C. State University.

That was because they involved baking, etching or processing robust metals and such with solvents that would have destroyed far more fragile organic matter such as genes or drugs.

The new method avoids harsh treatment but also allows formation of uniform particles in any shape designers choose – spheres, rods, cones, trapezoidal solids, etc. — and essentially any composition, he said. The relatively simple process, which he and colleagues are calling Particle Replication in Nonwetting Templates, or PRINT, also avoids creating films or “scum layers” that would clump particles together rather than allowing them to be harvested independent of one another.

UNC news release