Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Mandi have used natural polymer based smart nanoparticles to treat colorectal cancer. These nanoparticles release the drug in response to stimuli that are specific to cancer site only.
The findings of the research have been published in the Journal Carbohydrate Polymers. The research has been led by Dr. Garima Agrawal, Assistant Professor, School of Chemical Sciences, and co-authored by her students Dr. Ankur Sood and Ms. Aastha Gupta from IIT Mandi and Prof. Neal Silverman along with his team from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, United States of America. The research was funded by the Science and Engineering Research Board, Government of India along with IIT Mandi.
Colorectal cancer is a devastating disease leading to increased mortality worldwide and it also causes a heavy financial burden on the healthcare system globally. It is the third most common cancer in men and the second most common in women worldwide. To treat this disease, the research team at IIT Mandi have developed biodegradable nanoparticles from renewable resources, thus reducing the dependency on petroleum-based polymers. These smart nanoparticles are stable under physiological conditions and degrade at tumor site in the presence of redox stimuli of cancer cells. These nanoparticles can be used to successfully load and release both hydrophilic and hydrophobic drugs having a different anticancer mechanism which can help to improve the treatment efficiency.