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CLARKSON UNIVERSITY · POTSDAM · NEW YORK 13699 · VOLUME 17 NO 2 · MARCH 2002
Defense and Security Related Research and Biosensor Work at Clarkson University's Center for Advanced Materials Processing

Experts at CAMP, in collaboration with faculty and industrial counterparts in the United States and overseas, are involved in research relating to defense and security applications and biosensors. Highlights of this work are provided.

 

CAMP Professor Partch Pursues Research in Drug Overdose Remediation: A New Venue for Particles in Biotechnology

Nanoparticles for in vivo controlled and selective removal of overdosed drugs from blood are virtually unknown, yet hold great potential for saving lives. The drugs may be legal and administered by an MD, may be the illegal "street" type, or even agents of bioterrorism. The opposite technology, controlled time and targeted release of therapeutic agents, is mature and employed in the delivery of several common pharmaceuticals. This is a progress report on a pioneering interdisciplinary effort being carried out by CAMP Professor Richard Partch, CAMP graduate student Evon Powell ( who received a poster session award on this topic), and several Co- Principal Investigators affiliated with the University of Florida including one of Partch's former Clarkson Ph.D. students, Visiting Professor Young-Hwan Lee from Kyungwon University in Seoul, Korea.

The goals of this research are to prepare, characterize and evaluate the in vitro and in vivo ability of several types of dispersed phases to absorb, bind and/or otherwise detoxify some of the most commonly overdosed chemicals that cause large numbers of deaths annually. Chemists like Partch play a pivotal role in the preparation and surface activation of particles that are undergoing evaluation by anesthesiologists on the team.

figure1

Figure 1.Percent efficiency of binding (removal) of a toxic antidepressant from blood plasma by ethyl butyrate microemulsions.

 

The dispersed phases under investigation include:

1. Oil-in-water microemulsions designed to absorb lipophilic toxin molecules. The microemulsions may be stabilized by a monomeric or polymerizable surfactant. Data in Figure 1 shows that the microemulsion (ME-I; ME-II) approach has merit. Note the rapid lowering of the blood plasma concentration of a frequently overdosed prescribed antidepressant. On the same scale, 100% of cocaine is removed. The efficiency is limited by the composition and amount of microemulsion employed. For example, one composed of triglycerides and PEG removes 90% of 5 ÁM bupivacaine local anesthetic from saline and 80% from each blood plasma and blood.

2. Hydrophilic polymer microgels with pores filled with oil. In preliminary tests this type of dispersed phase shows less promise for drug removal than the microemulsion systems.

3. Hard or hard shell particles with high surface area having molecularly templated pores and/or with surfaces chemically modified, with binding sites that target a molecular feature unique to a toxin in question.

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