Characteristics of NanoCarrier's technology
NanoCarriers micellar nanoparticle technology combines polymer chemistry and nanotechnology. Nanotechnology refers to the field of science and technology that deals with the structural and functional control of extremely small matter such as molecules at the nanoscale (1 nanometer = 1 billionth of a meter).
The micellar nanoparticles we develop are about the size of a virus, smaller than both enteric bacteria, and blood components such as red blood cells and platelets, as shown in the diagram below. We are developing micellar nanoparticles with a polyamino-acid center for encapsulating drugs.
When particles of various sizes are administered into vessels, they are known to be trapped in the different organs depending on particle size; in the lungs with 3,000 nm, in the spleen with 300 nm, and in the liver with 100 nm. Particles with < 100 nm, such as NanoCarriers micellar nanoparticles, escape uptake by these organs. The human immune system is known to eliminate bacteria and other foreign bodies that enter the body, and this mechanism also functions when ordinary pharmaceuticals are administered. As NanoCarriers micellar nanoparticles have a polyethylene glycol (PEG) surface, they are not easily recognized as foreign bodies by the immune system. It enables these particles to circulate in the blood for a longer period after intravenous injection and to show increased drug efficacy for the following reasons.
Cancer cells proliferate faster and require more nutrients than normal cells, so many new blood vessels are thought to form in order to provide the required nutrients to multiplying cells. The cells that constitute the new blood vessel walls are not as closely arranged as normal tissue, making the blood vessels more permeable, and this is believed to enable micellar nanoparticles (100 nm or smaller) to easily pass through the blood vessels.