A new material for drug delivery inside the human body is invented

Researchers of the St. Petersburg State University and the Institute of Organic Chemistry named after ND Zelinsky of the Russian Academy of Sciences developed a polymer similar to an electron microscope for Swiss cheese. Its unusual structure will help to deliver drugs to tissues and organs of a person.

The creation of materials with programmable properties, which can be set even in the process of their production – one of the priorities of modern science. So you can get products that react in a special way to temperature, light, pressure or chemicals. But as a raw material for such materials, scientists try to choose inexpensive and accessible substances, and if they manage to make them renewable, such production becomes especially valuable!

A group of researchers from St. Petersburg State University and the Institute of Geochemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences proposed a new method for the preparation of polymers, the starting material for which is calcium carbide and carbohydrates. Calcium carbide CaC2 is a cheap product, obtained in large quantities for the production of acetylene and other industrial applications. And carbohydrates are completely renewable and widely distributed in nature – for example, in the form of glucose and fructose.

The resulting polymer has a structure similar to Swiss cheese: an electron microscope shows how thousands of its time form a hierarchy. Microscopic “nano-holes” are evenly distributed throughout the volume, but in its depth there are hollow spheres with the finest partitions, between which there are no connecting channels. This could be determined by cutting the layers of material with a thickness of just a few atoms directed by ions.

“It turned out that our polymer dissolves well in some solvents and is completely insoluble in others,” said Valentin Ananikov, head of the Cluster Catalysis Laboratory of St. Petersburg State University, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. – It turns out that it is possible to place in the pores a substance that will leave the polymer only under certain conditions. Until they come, the substance will be conserved, as it were, in the pores. Such materials are very much in demand today and find application, for example, in the point delivery of drugs to certain tissues and organs. ”

The results of the study, supported by a grant from the RNF, are published in the international scientific journal ChemSusChem.