Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have announced that they have developed a new class of material called a polyzwitterionic complex (PZC), which is able to both withstand the harsh acidic conditions of the stomach and then dissolve likely in the comparatively gentle environment of the small intestine. This means that pZCs might aid in the delivery of medicine of all kinds, from familiar oral antibiotics to new classes of delicate protein therapeutics.
Many medications that aren''t available orally, according toKhatcher Margossian, the lead author of the study, who is seeking a dual doctorate in medicine from Rush Medical College and the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering. This is because many people are dissatisfied with the medications'' ability to respond to the stomach''s harshly acidic environment. In both cases, pain, fear, and potential side effects can limit a patient''s ability to undergo treatment or to continue using the medications. This is
If there were a way to safeguard this precious therapeutic cargo, Margossian would develop the library of medications that we may supply orally. This is exactly what Margossian, Muthukumar, and their partners have done.
The study, which was recently published inNature Communications, describes a new class of material called a pZC, which forms through a process known as complex coacervation. Two types of charged polymers, a polyzwitterion and a polyelectrolyte, combine to form a protective droplet inside of which medications can travel. The trick that the pZC has to accomplish is that it must not only be extremely tough to deal with the highly acidic stomach conditions,
The goal of the groups'' success was not to strengthen the bonds between the polyzwitterion and the polyelectrolyte, but to weaken them. For example, weakening the relationship between the two materials, according to Muthukumar, allows us to control precisely when they come apart. If the bonds are too strong, then there is no room to play.
The group''s research is driven by the real-life needs of medical practitioners. These materials will not only enable clinicians to deliver the correct dosages of drugs, but they will also significantly increase the number of medications that can be taken orally. This is a fundamental science that can alter how we treat diseases, according to Margossian. We hope that our work will transform their lives into clinicians and help them save lives.
The National Science Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research have all provided a boost to these research.