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Researchers from Merck Research Labs Describe Findings in Nanoparticles

February 21, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Drug Week -- Current study results on Nanoparticles have been published. According to news reporting originating from West Point, Pennsylvania, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "In order to rapidly screen and select lead candidates for in vivo evaluation of lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) for systemic small interfering RNA (siRNA) delivery, an in vitro assay amenable to high-throughput screening (HTS) is developed. The strategy is to mimic the in vivo experience of LNPs after systemic administration, such as interactions with serum components, exposure to endosomal pH environments, and interactions with endosomal membrane lipids."

Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from Merck Research Labs, "It is postulated that the amount of siRNA released from LNPs after going through these treatments can be used as a screening tool to rank order the effectiveness of siRNA delivery by lipid nanoparticles in vivo. LNPs were incubated with 50% serum from different species (i.e. mouse, rat, or rhesus) at 37 degrees C. The resulting samples were then reacted with anionic, endosomal-mimicking lipids at different pHs. The amount of siRNA released from LNPs was determined using spectrophotometry employing the fluorescent indicator SYBR Gold. Our results indicated that the amount of siRNA liberated was highly dependent upon the species of serum used and the pH to which it was exposed. LNPs treated with mouse serum showed higher levels of siRNA release, as did those subjected to endosomal pH (6.0), compared to physiological pH. Most interestingly, a good correlation between the amount of siRNA released and the in vivo efficacy was observed."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "An in vitro siRNA release assay was developed to screen and rank order LNPs for in vivo evaluation."

For more information on this research see: The development of an in vitro assay to screen lipid based nanoparticles for siRNA delivery. Journal of Controlled Release, 2014;174():7-14. Journal of Controlled Release can be contacted at: Elsevier Science Bv, PO Box 211, 1000 Ae Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Elsevier - www.elsevier.com; Journal of Controlled Release - www.elsevier.com/wps/product/cws_home/502690)

The news editors report that additional information may be obtained by contacting Y. Zhang, Merck Res Labs, Dept. of RNAi Therapeut, West Point, PA 19486, United States. Additional authors for this research include L. Arrington, D. Boardman, J. Davis, Y. Xu, K. DiFelice, S. Stirdivant, W.M. Wang, B. Budzik, J. Bawiec, J. Deng, G. Beutner, D. Seifried, M. Stanton, M. Gindy and A. Leone (see also Nanoparticles).

Keywords for this news article include: West Point, Pennsylvania, United States, Nanotechnology, Emerging Technologies, North and Central America

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Source: Drug Week


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