Research Highlights

Smart Nanomedicines Customized for Liver Diseases (2011.9.1)

2011-12-15 5,414

Asmart nanomedicine customized for liver diseases has been developed by Professor Sei Kwang Hahn’s research team in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Hyaluronic acid is a bio-polymer of high biocompatibility and stability, and can be target-specifically delivered to liver tissues. Capitalizing on this characteristic of hyaluronic acid, Prof. Hahn built a liver-targeted drug delivery system, which is expected not only to reduce serious side-effects of the conventional uncustomized medications, but also to advance the effectiveness of the drug for hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and liver cancer.

Together with PhD candidate Min-Young Lee, Professor Hahn successfully developed a nucleic acid drug delivery system by using hyaluronic acid and gold nanoparticles. When applied to animals, the gene expression most likely to cause liver diseases was repressed to a significant extent, thanks to the customized characteristic of hyaluronic acid to the liver.

Also, jointly with Professor Seung Kew Yoon of the Catholic University of Korea, College of Medicine, Professor Hahn developed interferon alpha – hyaluronic acid conjugate for the treatment of hepatitis C virus infection. Results from animal testing indicate that the drug was accurately delivered to the liver, its selected target, as symptoms of cure were observed continuously for a week.

The result was published in the renowned science journals ACS Nano and Biomaterials successively. Professor Hahn published many SCI journal papers last year including five papers in Biomaterials, three papers in ACS Nano, and one paper each in Advanced Materials and Advanced Functional Materials.

Professor Hahn commented, “Our ‘smart’ nanomedicine is clearly distinct from the conventional medications, and has significantly improved the efficacy and safety of the treatment of liver diseases. I will push this research further for the commercialization of smart nanomedicines to contribute to the bio/pharmaceutical industry.”