John Garner

PEG-block copolymers from PolySciTech used in development of ultra-sound triggered nanoparticles for localized drug delivery.

Blog Post created by John Garner on Mar 28, 2019

Zhong, 2019 ultrasound nanoparticles polyscitech stanford MIT.jpg

The same molecule which operates as a medicine in one part of the body may be highly toxic in another part of the body. For this reason, the ability to control the delivery of a molecule to a very specific area is highly preferential for a wide variety of diseases. One means to do this is to introduce the medicinal molecule in a bound form and then externally trigger it by a specific mechanism so that it is only unbound in a specific region. Recently, researchers from Stanford University, University of California, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Massachusetts General Hospital used mPEG-PLGA, mPEG-PLA, and mPEG-PCL (AK073, AK001, AK003, AK004, AK052, AK090) from PolySciTech ( to generate ultra-sound triggered nanoparticles. This research holds promise to provide for localized drug delivery. As a side-note, co-author Ananya Karthik, a high-school student and Regeneron Science Talent Search finalist, qualifies as one of the youngest scientists to ever author a paper utilizing PolySciTech polymers. Read more: Zhong, Qian, Byung C. Yoon, M. Aryal, Jeffrey B. Wang, T. Ilovitsh, M. A. Baikoghli, N. Hosseini-Nassab, A. Karthik, R.H. Cheng, K.W. Ferrara, R.D. Airan "Polymeric perfluorocarbon nanoemulsions are ultrasound-activated wireless drug infusion catheters." Biomaterials (2019).


“Abstract: Catheter-based intra-arterial drug therapies have proven effective for a range of oncologic, neurologic, and cardiovascular applications. However, these procedures are limited by their invasiveness and relatively broad drug spatial distribution. The ideal technique for local pharmacotherapy would be noninvasive and would flexibly deliver a given drug to any region of the body with high spatial and temporal precision. Combining polymeric perfluorocarbon nanoemulsions with existent clinical focused ultrasound systems could in principle meet these needs, but it has not been clear whether these nanoparticles could provide the necessary drug loading, stability, and generalizability across a range of drugs, beyond a few niche applications. Here, we develop polymeric perfluorocarbon nanoemulsions into a generalized platform for ultrasound-targeted delivery of hydrophobic drugs with high potential for clinical translation. We demonstrate that a wide variety of drugs may be effectively uncaged with ultrasound using these nanoparticles, with drug loading increasing with hydrophobicity. We also set the stage for clinical translation by delineating production protocols that are scalable and yield sterile, stable, and optimized ultrasound-activated drug-loaded nanoemulsions. Finally, we exhibit a new potential application of these nanoemulsions for local control of vascular tone. This work establishes the power of polymeric perfluorocarbon nanoemulsions as a clinically-translatable platform for efficacious, noninvasive, and localized ultrasonic drug uncaging for myriad targets in the brain and body. Keywords: Focused ultrasound Clinically translatable Targeted drug delivery Noninvasive ultrasonic drug uncaging Drug delivery platform Spatiotemporally controlled release.”


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