Explained : What are Nanomicelles | UPSC
Nanomicelles: using nanoparticles for cancer treatment
WHY IN NEWS:
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Science : Cell Structure
For PRELIMS it is important to understand Formation , Cell structure, different forms and how these cell contribute in chemotherapy.
WHAT ARE NANOMICELLES?
- With the advance in nanotechnology, researchers across the globe have been exploring how to use nanoparticles for efficient drug delivery.
- Similar to nanoshells and nanovesicles, nanomicelles are extremely small structures and have been noted as an emerging platform in targeted therapy.
SMALL BUT ACTIVE
- The nanomicelles are less than 100nm in size and are stable at room temperature.
- Once injected intravenously these nanomicelles can easily escape the circulation and enter the solid tumours where the blood vessels are found to be leaky.
- These leaky blood vessels are absent in the healthy organs.
- Chemical conjugation would render the phospholipid-docetaxel prodrug to be silent in the circulation and healthy organs.
Nanomicelles are capable of delivering poorly water-soluble drugs as well as the protection of drug molecules.
FORMULATION OF NANOMICELLES
- Nanomicelles are typically spherical, but can sometimes take other shapes, such as cylinders and ellipsoids.
- The shapes formed also depend on the ionic strength, surfactant concentration, and pH strength of the solutions they are placed in.
FACTORS INFLUENCING NANOMICELLES
In addition, the following factors were empirically-found to influence the formulation and development of nanomicelles:
- CHAIN LENGTH OF SURFACTANT MOLECULES : Nanomicelles with lower concentrations will form when a molecule’s chain length is longer
- DISSOLVED SALTS : Presence of dissolved salts in the solution lowers critical micelle concentration (CMC)
- ADDITION OF ALCOHOL TO WATER – CMC increases relative to the type of alcohol (ranging from methanol to butanol) that is added to water.
- TEMPERATURE : Increase in temperature also increases CMC
- The particles may be formed in aqueous or non-aqueous solutions where the nonpolar region forms the interior and the polar region forms the exterior.
- Different agents are used to create nanomicelles, however, they are usually made through surfactant molecules that may be non-ionic, ionic, and cationic detergents.
- Some nanomicelles may also be developed from a mixture of lipids and detergents.
- The critical micelle concentration and the typical number of detergent molecules are dependent on the amount of lipids and proteins in the micelles.
USES OF NANOMICELLES
- Micelles are used primarily as solutions for membrane proteins.
- Research shows that nanomicelles are more effective in studying the capabilities of such proteins, than bilayer vesicles because of their relatively smaller size.
- The current form of drug delivery through intravitreal injections are not patient-compliant and therefore poses a challenge on patient care and treatment.
- Researches on bioengineering have found the use of nanomicelles as a smart and efficient drug-delivery system.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF NANOMICELLES
- The primary advantage of nanomicelles is its core-shell structure.
- The hydrophobic contents within the nanomicelle shell facilitates the solubilization of hydrophobic drugs in water.
- Another advantage of nanomicelles are their quality as an efficient pharmaceutical content because of their low toxicity, ability to minimize drug degradation.
- Nanomicelles have ability to permeate tissues easily for drug delivery, and lower adverse drug side effects.
- While nanomicelles have been found to be an effective solution in many therapeutic, medical, and bioengineering problems.
- Once it enters the cancer cells, the enzymes will cleave the bond to activate the drug, and kill the cancer cells.
- Its toxicity was compared with the currently used FDA approved formulation and found to be less toxic.
- These nanomicelles are extremely cost-effective and can prove to be next-generation chemotherapeutic.
SOURCES: THE HINDU | Explained : What are Nanomicelles | UPSC