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Researchers Set To Turn Acid-Loving Microbes Into Safe Oral Medication Delivery System

Nano Pills

The microbe S. islandicus is normally found in acidic and hot volcanic springs. However, the microbe has now made its way into the laboratories of University of Southern Denmark. For the first time, researchers have exhibited that this mysterious and fascinating microbe has the potential of delivering medications safely through the human stomach.

S. islandicus is a microbe that has a strange and unique feature of surviving in acidic environments. This characteristic would permit the microbe to pass through the stomach without any difficulties, where it is exposed to a harsh acidic environment. This is why scientists are showing a keen interest in delivering drugs orally with the help of this microbe.

A major challenge faced by researchers in the pharmaceutical industry is to find techniques to be implemented and to safeguard medications when they make their way through the stomach to the intestines, said Sara Munk Jensen-a Ph. D. student at the Nordic Center for Earth Evolution (NordCEE).

Researchers were able to transform S. islandicus into a nano-capsule which could transport medications carefully without dissolving to quickly. This is why the microbe has been labeled as a brilliant drug carrier. This is significant as it could prove effective for various medications including insulin, vaccines and growth hormones. A majority of diabetic patients need to inject insulin on a regular basis directly into their body. Such patients would get a better option by administering insulin in tablet form (swallowing a tablet is much friendlier solution, than injecting a drug on a daily basis). The other advantage is that when insulin gets absorbed from the small intestine, it’s delivered to the body in a more natural way, than if it was injected. This technique can greatly enhance the patient’s treatment.

While conducting experiments in laboratories, researchers segregated lipids from the cell membrane of the microbe to create liposomes, commonly referred to as synthetic fat capsules. The emerging molecules were then laced with a dye and kept in acidic solution-thus creating the natural environment that is found in the stomach. After 90 minutes (this is the time span for the pills to withstand the acidic ambiance of the stomach), it was found that some of the liposomes were destroyed; however, 10% survived.

The result shows that if the molecules are purified, the chances of survival of the liposomes should go up. The study, published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics, stated that approximately 85% of the liposomes should be able to survive before medical companies start creating peptide-drugs, such as vaccines and insulin.

Study has been published in the journal International Journal of Pharmaceutics: “Liposomes containing lipids from Sulfolobus islandicus withstand intestinal bile salts: An approach for oral drug delivery?”.

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Pankaj Mondal

Pankaj has been working as a freelance business blogger offering writing and editing services since 2010. He is based in a small town in India. His goal is to create the best possible content based on the client’s specifications as well as assist aspiring bloggers pursue their dreams. He has created content for various industries, including real estate, finance, health, tech, content marketing, online gambling and much more.