Slipping therapeutics to the mitochondria
Researchers from The University of Georgia have developed a polymeric nanoparticle technology that can selectively deliver small molecules to the mitochondria of cultured cells.1 The researchers now are evaluating the nanoparticles in animal models of Alzheimer's disease, cancer and metabolic disorders.
Mitochondrial dysfunction plays a role in multiple diseases, including cancer, neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases, obesity and diabetes. However, targeting mitochondria has been difficult because there are no platforms to deliver drugs directly into the organelles, and nonspecific delivery can lead to toxicity in other parts of the cell.
Thus, two University of Georgia researchers, graduate student Sean Marrache and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Shanta Dhar, reasoned that mitochondria-targeting nanoparticles could be a way to selectively