Researchers from McMaster University have developed what they are calling “super-human red blood cells.” The technique they’ve developed loads normal red blood cells with synthetic drug molecules to create a powerful hybrid cell designed to deliver drugs to targeted locations in the body.
A number of compelling drug delivery methods are currently in development with researchers creating complex new synthetic particles designed to enter the human body and home in on a specific destination with incredible precision. Of course, our immune system is fundamentally designed to hunt down and destroy non-endogenous compounds so these particles are often limited in their efficacy.
One way to escape the body’s natural defenses is to hide a therapeutic molecule inside a cell, much in the same way a threat hides within a Trojan horse. Red blood cells are one of the most abundant cells in the human body, and prior research has revealed them to be perfect carriers for therapeutic payloads.
An impressive new study published in the journal Advanced Biosystems describes a fascinating new method whereby red blood cells are essentially hollowed out and filled with a synthetic liposome that could hypothetically encapsulate any number of different kinds of drug molecules.