Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Translate
Donations
menu iconMenu
search iconSearch

New Polymeric Material Developed at UC San Diego Has Potential for Use in Non-Invasive Surgical Procedures

 

October 03, 2011  |  

Previously inaccessible target sites may be reached for diagnosis and treatment using this material

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego have developed what they believe to be the first polymeric material that is sensitive to biologically benign levels of near infrared (NRI) irradiation, enabling the material to disassemble in a highly controlled fashion. The study represents a significant milestone in the area of light-sensitive material for non-invasive medical and biological applications.  Their work is published on line this week in the journal Macromolecules.

 Adah Almutairi

 Adah Almutairi, PhD

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the only polymeric material specifically designed to break down in to small fragments in response to very low levels of NIR irradiation,” said Adah Almutairi, PhD, assistant professor at the UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and director of the Laboratory of Bioresponsive Materials at UC San Diego. “The material was also shown to be well-tolerated in cells before and after irradiation.  We think there is great potential for use in human patients, allowing previously inaccessible targets sites to be reached for both treatment and diagnosis.”

The properties of so-called “smart” polymeric materials – either synthetic or natural – respond readily to small changes in their environment.  They are, therefore, the focus of widespread research to develop tools for such uses as tissue engineering, implants, wound-healing, drug delivery and biosensors.

NIR light can penetrate up to 10 cm into tissue with less damage, absorption and scattering than visible light, and can be remotely applied with high spatial and temporal precision. Most other light-degradable materials that have been developed to date can be difficult to clear from the body, and only a handful of organic materials respond to high-power NIR light.  Until now, none were able to respond to low-level, thus safer, NIR light – which causes less photodamage to tissue and cells.

The UC San Diego researchers stated that further studies are warranted to improve the sensitivity of these smart polymeric materials to NIR, and they are currently pursuing several synthetic and engineering strategies to improve design of such biomaterials.

Additional researchers include Nadezda Fomina, Cathryn L. McFearin, Marleen Sermsakdi, and José M. Morachis, Skaggs School of Pharmacy, Department of NanoEngineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering and Biomedical Sciences Programs, UC San Diego.

Funding was provided by an NIH Directors New Innovator Award and King Abdul Aziz City of Science and Technology support.

# # #

Media Contact: Debra Kain, 619-543-6163, ddkain@ucsd.edu




Media Contact

Related News

5/21/2015
Using human embryonic stem cells, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute created a model that all ...
5/18/2015
A binational team from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission, Mexico Section has launched a new research project aimed at promoting pr ...
5/17/2015
For parents who send their kids to dance classes to get some exercise, a new study from researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine suggests most youth dance classes provide ...
5/8/2015
Therapies that specifically target mutations in a person’s cancer have been much-heralded in recent years, yet cancer cells often find a way around them. To address this, researchers at University of ...
5/7/2015
Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Shiley Eye Institute have identified the molecular “glue” that builds the brain connections that keep visual images clear and ...
5/7/2015
Writing in the May 7 online issue of American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System su ...
5/6/2015
Each year, more than 10 million Americans seek medical attention, often in emergency situations, for symptoms of intestinal blockages. Researchers at the University California, San Diego School of Med ...
5/6/2015
With the threat of multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens growing, new ideas to treat infections are sorely needed. Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs Sc ...


Share This Article



Follow Us