SCIENTIFIC HIGHLIGHTS

Quatsomes as a topical delivery platform

We report the study of a topical drug delivery platform and how it can tune its mechanical properties, depending on the micro-surrounding and constituting molecules.

In the field of nanomedicine, great efforts have been made towards the discovery of new drug delivery systems that may improve the administration of drugs in a more effective and safer manner, increasing their solubility and stability, overcoming physiological barriers by targeting specific organs/tissues. In this sense, the physico-chemical and mechanical properties of these systems, based on nanoparticles, are key as they may affect the interaction with cells and tissues, the endocytic pathway, the ability of a drug to penetrate cell membranes, and the deformability, which is essential for some applications, such as skin penetration.

Nanomol, in collaboration with the groups of Dr. Marina I. Giannotti and Dr. Jordi Faurado, have studied the mechanical properties of a new vesicular system developed in the group, known as Quatsomes (QS), for nanomedicine applications as drug delivery systems. After a thorough study, QS have proved to be formed by a bilayer membrane with a compact structure homogeneous in composition, and with comparable properties to fluid-like lipid bilayers, but with the benefit of great stability, which favours the production of new formulations for healthcare (pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, etc). On top of that, the membrane of this new vesicles can be easily tuned by changing the surrounding micro-environment and modifying the molecules that constitute the basic unit of the QS [1,2].

Moreover, Quatsomes are easily obtained using a green production process, also developed and patented by Nanomol group, which allows high batch-to-batch reproducibility and scale-up production following Good Manufacturing Practices, a critical asset for the development of products that can be further commercialized.

As a summary, the obtained results during the last year, present QS as a very promising platform that can easily tune its mechanical properties, highly pursued in nanomedicine applications, with special focus on skin care treatments either in the cosmetic or pharma industries.

Authors:
Berta Gumí-Audenis1, 2, 3, Sílvia Illa-Tuset4, Luca Costa5, Natascia Grimaldi4, 6, Laia Pasquina-Lemonche1, 4, Lidia Ferrer-Tasies6, Fausto Sanz1,2,3, Jaume Veciana3, 4, Imma Ratera3, 4, Jordi Faraudo4, Nora Ventosa3, 4 and Marina I. Giannotti1, 2, 3

Affiliations:
1Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), Spain.
2Departament de Ciència dels Materials i Química Física, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain.
3Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red (CIBER), Spain.
4Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), Spain.
5Centre de Biochimie Structurale (CBS), CNRS UMR 5048–UM–INSERM U 1054, France.
6Nanomol Technologies SL, Mòdul de Recerca B, Campus Universitari de Bellaterra, Spain.

Publications:
[1] Insights into the structure and nanomechanics of aquatsome membrane by force spectroscopymeasurements and molecular simulations, Nanoscale , 10, 23001 - 23011, 2018.
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR07110A

[2] Pulling lipid tubes from supported bilayers unveilsthe underlying substrate contribution to themembrane mechanics, Nanoscale, 10, 14763 - 14770, 2018.
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR03249A

Figure:
Visual representation of a future product based on Quatsomes for the topical delivery of pharmaceutical or cosmetic ingredients.

 

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