IIT-Delhi’s all-women team develops drug delivery platform

| | New Delhi

An all-women team of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi researchers has developed a new drug delivery platform using nanoparticles that can boost the efficacy of antibiotics at the cellular level and improve chances of recovery from cancer-related bacterial infections. The research was published last month in Scientific Reports.  The study team included Rohini Singh, Smita Patil, Neetu Singh and Shalini Gupta.

The nanotechnology-based delivery system, would be specifically useful for cancer patients because if the bacterial infection in cancer remains untreated, it can infect the host even after the cancer cells are killed by chemotherapy. Antibiotics are the most conventional therapeutics used for the treatment of bacterial infections, however, 50% of these drugs prescribed to humans are either not needed or not effectively utilised as prescribed," said an official from the IIT.

Conventional antibiotics suffer from several issues such as improper "biodistribution", "poor water solubility", "lack of  target specificity" and "loss of efficacy" over time due to the emergence of drug resistance in pathogenic bacteria.

"Bacterial drug resistance has emerged as a serious global threat mandating the development of novel methodologies that allow facile modulation of antimicrobial action in a controlled fashion. Conjugating antibiotics to nanoparticles helps to meet this goal by increasing the drug's overall avidity, bioavailability and easier internalisation into mammalian cells, targeting bacteria that otherwise escape antibacterial action by host cell-localization," the authors wrote.

"We have demonstrated an efficient antibiotic targeting strategy that increases both the antimicrobial efficacy and particle uptake for destroying intracellular bacteria. This can be studied further and may help in development of more potent and target specific surface engineered drug delivery vehicles," saidShalini Gupta, one of the authors of the study.



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