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 Dual-purpose liposome offers intelligent diagnosis, drug delivery

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Date posted: 08/08/2010

Key objectives of modern health care are early and accurate diagnosis of a disease and quick remediation with minimal side effects.

So imagine a tiny bubble, or liposome, that can be inserted into the human body and delivered to a specific target to provide both precise diagnosis of a cancerous tumor and intelligent drug delivery to combat that tumor.

The dual-purpose liposome is at the heart of joint research being conducted by teams from the University of Delaware and North Dakota State University in a collaborative project funded by a three-year, $586,715 grant from the National Science Foundation to be shared equally between the two universities.

?This proposal addresses all of the important elements of health care, with concurrent imaging and targeted and controlled drug release,? said Kausik Sarkar, associate professor in the University of Delaware Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Sarkar is conducting the research in cooperation with Sanku Mallik, professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at North Dakota State.

Sarkar said the goal of the project is to develop lipid bilayer encapsulated liposomes, a field in which Mallik is a noted expert.

?The liposomes are excellent agents for medical purposes because of their close structural resemblance with animal cells, and can be loaded with drugs and genes to be delivered to target tissues,? Sarkar said.

They can also be designed to be diagnostic for better use in ultrasound imaging, which is Sarkar's field of expertise. Ultrasound uses a pulsing high frequency sound beyond the upper limit of human hearing to peer into the body and provide images, and is an important tool in modern health care.

See the full Story via external site: www.physorg.com

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