The core technology of the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) is to provide novel thermo-sensitive nanocarriers (TSNP). Accoridng to the TSNP technology, the TSNP may be prepared by the method comprising the steps of (a) preparing a polymer dispersion comprising a water-soluble biocompatible polymer with photo-crosslinkable functional group(s); (b) preparing a polymer-initiator solution by adding an initiator to the polymer dispersion; and (c) preparing the nano-carriers by irradiating light onto the polymer-initiator solution; wherein the average diameter of the nano-carriers changes depending on temperature.
Background and unmet needs: Nanoparticle systems for delivering therapeutic proteins or drugs are generally synthesized by emulsion evaporation using organic solvents. However, these conventional methods need to include complicated steps, and also have problems associated with the use of organic solvents such as cytotoxicity and an increasing preparation cost. For these reasons, there have been extensive researches exerted to develop a novel method of preparing nanoparticles that can ensure the stability of drugs encapsulated inside nanoparticles.
Discovery and Achievements: The present inventors have extensive researches to develop an efficient process of preparing drug delivery systems, and finally achieved a simple single-phase process of preparing superior thermo-sensitive nano-carriers comprising the step of crosslinking a water-soluble biocompatible polymer having a photo-crosslinkable functional group under appropriate conditions, thereby completing the present invention.
Key Features and Advantages:
(a) Responsiveness to temperature change
The thermo-sensitive nanocarriers (TSNP) are temperature-sensitive,and their average diameter and pore size reversibly change in response to temperature change.
(b) Simple synthesis
The TSNP can be prepared via a one-pot single-phase synthesis.
(c) Simple encapsulation of payload
The payload molecules to be delivered can be spontaneously encapsulated inside the TSNP.
(d) Sustanied release drug delivery
The TSNP can be used as a sustained-release drug delivery system because the pores of the TSNP decrease at a human body temperature.
(e) Overcoming shortcomings associated with conventional technologies
The TSNP can overcome serious shortcomings associated with conventional technologies such as the use of organic solvents, complicated preparation steps, a relatively high manufacture cost and a low loading efficiency.
(f) Strong IP position
The TSNP has been already filed for a patent application in several countries including Korea, USA, Japan and Europe. The pending patent applications may be patented without serious challenging to their patentability.