As well as targeting various age related medical conditioners the research, published in the peer review journal Angewandte Chemie International, also suggests that the technology could be applied to enhance anti-aging cosmetic products.
The research centers around the principle of senescene, which is a physiological process that the body incorporates to eliminate aged cells or ones with have compromised viability. This prevents the accumulation of aged cells and basically can dictate many of the body’s aging processes.
The scientists' work has concentrated on the inevitable accumulation process of these aged cells and finding a way to slow down or eliminate this accumulation that leads to the aging process.
Selected release of chemicals in specific cells
“The nanodevice that we have developed consists of mesoporous nanoparticles with a galactooligosaccharide outer surface that prevents the release of the load and that only selectively opens in degenerative phase cells or senescent cells,” said Ramón Martínez Máñez, researcher at the IDN Centre - Universitat Politècnica de València.
“The proof of concept demonstrates for the first time that selected chemicals can be released in these cells and not in others.”
So far the research has tested the nanodevice in cell cultures containing an accelerated aging syndrome that have a high concentration of senescent cells caused by an enzyme identified as beta-galatosidase.
Nanoparticles released once key enzyme is detected
The nanodevice was designed to open when the enzyme is detected, releasing a content that is designed to eliminate the senescent cells, thus preventing further deterioration and giving the cells the opportunity to rejuvenate.
“These nanoparticles represent a unique opportunity to selectively deliver therapeutic compounds to affected tissues and rescue their viability and functionality” explains Rosario Perona, researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas.
The researchers say that the next step will be to test the nanodevice with therapeutic agents and validate the process on animals.