Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Drug delivery skin deep

Treatment of genetic skin disorders by changing gene expression is hampered by the skin's resistant outer barrier. New molecule delivery systems are on the horizon thanks to chemicals that will enhance mammalian skin penetration.
Drug delivery skin deep
Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) can modulate genetic expression but need to be delivered efficiently to the target nucleic acids. Still in its infancy, self-delivery siRNAs do not rely on transfection agents such as chemicals. However, cellular uptake of the most effective self-delivery siRNAs is still inefficient compared to siRNA complexed with transfection reagents.

The SITRANSPORTER (Identification of molecular transporters that facilitate siRNA skin delivery) project has made two valuable breakthroughs in developing a base for selecting efficiently transported siRNAs to desired cell types in the skin.

A new system for a high-throughput chemical coupling method enabling thousands of chemicals to be covalently linked to nucleic acids was developed. With almost 100 % efficiency, the reaction occurs in a single tube. The new system is now ready to carry out large-scale screens for uptake-enhancing chemicals. Moreover, the technology can easily be adapted to handle other forms of nucleic acid therapy such as microRNA therapeutic inhibitors.

For drug delivery and bio-distribution studies, SITRANSPORTER researchers developed an advanced skin culture system that keeps cells alive for longer and in a metabolically active state. The system holds two patents with another pending and promises to be successful commercially.

SITRANSPORTER has provided the nucleic acid-based therapeutics area with two very valuable tools for high throughput screening. Conjugate delivery is applicable to other tissues and cell types apart from skin and stands to produce more effective drugs for all oligonucleotide therapeutics.

Related information

Subjects

Life Sciences

Keywords

Drug delivery, skin, small interfering RNAs, self-delivery, SITRANSPORTER
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