Researchers Create Tiny Cages to Enclose Drug, Pesticide Molecules

Tiny chemical cages created by researchers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, show potential for delivering drugs to organs or tissues where they’re needed without causing harm elsewhere.

Tiny chemical cages created by researchers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, show potential for delivering drugs to organs or tissues where they’re needed without causing harm elsewhere.

The Rutgers process involves combining six larger bowl-shaped molecules with 12 smaller linear molecules, or bridges, that link the bowls together, insides facing each other. Atoms at four sites along each bowl’s rim bond to atoms on the ends of the bridges. The atomic structure and properties of these molecules ensure that they naturally assemble themselves into capsules and do so with high yield when combined in proper proportions. Early research suggests that the connections between the bridges and bowls can be broken and reattached under controlled conditions to introduce “payload” molecules – such as a drug or pesticide – into the cage and extract them when needed.

The Rutgers team consisted of Warmuth, chemistry graduate students Xuejun Liu and Yong Liu, and undergraduate student Gina Li. The work was funded by grants from the National Science Foundation.

From Rutgers University



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