For patients with multiple drug prescriptions, remembering what to take and when can be tricky – giving out the right drugs daily on hospital wards is a time-consuming task. Researchers have found a new way to deliver drugs in ‘slow-release’ packages that could make this easier. They created microscopic drug delivery molecules with multiple layers, like an onion, inspired by the natural outer layers of some bacterial cells. The molecules were made simply by mixing particles called dendrimers – which have similar properties to the components of our cell membranes – with water, which made stable layers form spontaneously. Drugs could be packaged and released slowly from these molecules, layer by layer, so that they don’t have to be taken repeatedly – or different drugs could be contained in different layers so they could be released in sequence, simplifying the drug administration process.
Written by Emma Saxon
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.