2 Mar '22
Scientists at the Neutron Physics Laboratory, which is part of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna outside Moscow, have developed what they refer to as biohybrid therapeutic nanocomplexes based on natural ingredients. The solution is reported to display antimicrobial and anti-cancer activity. The team hopes their research results may lay the foundation for the development in a near future of next gen drugs capable of overpowering bacteria that are highly impervious to current medication.
The goal of synthesizing a new generation of nanodimensional vehicles for target delivery of drugs has been viewed lately as a must-have for modern pharmacology. Such vehicles are expected to help solve the burning problem of vanquishing antibiotic-resistant germs and malignant tumors.
According to 2019 statistics published in the medical journal Lancet, as many as five million deaths that year were caused, in one way or another, by bacterial infections that are notorious for their insusceptibility to drugs. The World Health Organization believes cancer is responsible for every sixth death worldwide.
Synthetic medication solutions prevail in the market today; however, developers are increasingly setting sights on possible ways of substituting individual ingredients with purely natural substances or their derivatives. The latter’s key competitive advantage over synthetic ones is much lower toxicity; in fact, their impact on the human immune system may even be positive.
JINR’s biocompatible hybrid nanocomplexes are based on “green” silver and silver chloride nanoparticles. To make those, the research team tapped the curative power of curcuma root extract and a blend of vine leaves and mint. Auxiliary components included soybean lecithin liposomes and chitosan.
The new nanocomplexes were tested for activity and reportedly showed strong enough antioxidant properties. Another test was anti-cancer efficiency monitoring. For some of the new systems their therapeutic index was one plus, meaning that their efficacy against tumorous cells was stronger than against healthy ones.
The JINR technology may be used across all stages of pharmacological research, the Dubna team said.