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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Breaking the Skin Barrier: Drugs Topically Deliver Gene Therapy Via Commercial Moisturizers for Skin Disease Treatment

Drugs are first to topically deliver gene regulation via commercial moisturizers for skin disease

Hand Cream With Nanoparticles

© Kristen Bonardi Rapp via Flickr
Hand Cream – A new class of nanoparticles inside skin lotion could penetrate the skin for gene therapy.

From the 2 July 2012 article at Science News Daily

Getting under your skin” takes on a brave new meaning thanks to Northwestern University research that could transform gene regulation.

A team led by a physician-scientist and a chemist — from the fields of dermatology and nanotechnology — is the first to demonstrate the use of commercial moisturizers to deliver gene regulation technology that has great potential for life-saving therapies for skin cancers.

The topical delivery of gene regulation technology to cells deep in the skin is extremely difficult because of the formidable defenses skin provides for the body. The Northwestern approach takes advantage of drugs consisting of novel spherical arrangements of nucleic acids. These structures, each about 1,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, have the unique ability to recruit and bind to natural proteins that allow them to traverse the skin and enter cells.

Applied directly to the skin, the drug penetrates all of the skin’s layers and can selectively target disease-causing genes while sparing normal genes. Once in cells, the drug simply flips the switch of the troublesome genes to “off.”

A detailed study of a method that could dramatically redefine the field of gene regulation will be published online during the week of July 2 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)….

July 3, 2012 - Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , ,

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