Dec 21, 2009 11:46 PM by Carina Corral
Researchers at University of California, Santa Barbara have developed synthetic red blood cells, or sRBCs, that are much like the real thing.
They have been shown to deliver therapeutic drugs effectively and more precisely than injections or pills.
They are also expected to help with diagnostic imaging, by carrying well-distributed contrast agents that will enhance the resolution.
"This ability to create flexible biomimetic carriers for therapeutic and diagnostic agents really opens up a whole new realm of possibilities in drug delivery and similar applications," said UCSB chemical engineering professor Samir Mitragotri. "We know that we can further engineer sRBCs to carry additional therapeutic agents, both encapsulated in the sRBC and on its surface."
The discovery is described in the current online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and will be published in the print version of the journal in the near future.
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