Encapsulation and Controlled Release of Small Molecules for Intracellular Delivery using Thermally Responsive Nanocapsules


Reference #: 00779

Invention Description:

This invention is a thermally responsive nanocapsule-mediated approach for delivering a significant amount of trehalose (342 Dalton) or other small molecules (< 1 kilo Dalton) into eukaryotic mammalian cells (e.g., NIH 3T3 fibroblasts). The construction of these capsules allows them to change size, surface charge, and wall permeability based on ambient temperatures. The temperature sensitive wall permeability and size also allows the capsules to be loaded with a desired substance that would otherwise not be transferable to the interior of the cell.

Potential Applications:

Mammalian cells lack a mechanism to synthesize trehalose. Yet, studies have shown that trehalose, a non-reducing disaccharide of glucose, has been demonstrated to be a potent, nontoxic bioprotectant. By delivering trehalose to cells, cells would gain the benefit of stabilizing lipids, proteins and many other sub-cellular organelles, maintaining blood cells, and even maintaining eukaryotic mammalian cells at ambient temperature in the dry state.

Trehalose protects cells from being damaged by dehydration and freezing stresses during cryo- and lyopreservation. It is therefore crucial to develop an effective approach that can deliver trehalose into mammalian cells as a step toward engineering the thermal stability of mammalian cells (biostabilization).

Due to the limited availability of cell sources, long-term cell biostabilization for future use is critical to the success of the emerging cell-based medical technologies such as tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, cell/organ transplantation, stem cell therapy, and assisted reproduction.

The nanocapsule can also be used to encapsulate small anticancer drugs for controlled delivery into cancer cells for cancer treatment.

Advantages and Benefits:

The nanocapsule allows the delivery of sugars that are 1) not naturally synthesized by mammalian cells and 2) otherwise might not be absorbed by a cell.

Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Encapsulation and controlled release of small molecules for intracellular delivery using thermally responsive nanocapsules Utility United States 12/705,072 8,318,207 2/12/2010 11/27/2012 4/12/2030  
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Xiaoming He
© 2024. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Inteum