Life Science

μEry Lō

MicroErythrocyte Loading: Erythrocytes for drug delivery
Monica Piergiovanni Giustina Casagrande, Elena Bianchi - Chemistry, Material and Chemical Engineering Department "Giulio Natta"

About 70% of cancer patients are subjected to chemotherapy practices, which are characterized by side effects related not only to the intrinsic toxicity of the drugs, but also subject to usual overdosing. Not only is chemotherapy hardly bearable for the patients and their relatives, but also impacts on their quality of life, and it is costly for the sanitary system.

To overcome these problems, a group of researchers from the Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta” has developed the μEryLō technology, which proposes the use of Red Blood Cells (RBCs) as carriers for patient-specific anticancer drugs. This technology involves an innovative approach for the drug encapsulation in RBCs, which can be then re-infused in the patient under physiological conditions. The release of the drug can therefore take place in a prolonged time, with respect to standard chemotherapy, hiding part of the drug into RBCs, reducing the incidence and intensity of the side effects, as well the number of hospital admission for each patient.

“Our technology is suitable to be used in a context of standard chemotherapy practice, and involves the combination of a selected drug and the patient’s blood, improving the efficacy of the treatment. The results obtained in the in vitro tests on human blood are very promising, showing an efficiency of loading up to 80% “explains Monica Piergiovanni, one of the inventors of technology.