Nanogels are gaining momentum in the field of pharmaceuticals due to their characteristic ability to carry important molecules like drugs, biomolecules and imaging agents with a high degree of reliability. A nanogel, put simply, is a nanoparticle composed of a hydrogel which maintain controllable properties such as chemical functionality, degradation and swelling. The main interest in nanogels stems from the fact that they can be molded into specific desired shapes and can release their charge over a specific time period. They also maintain the ability to stay in place after injection, further allowing a drug or imaging agent to target a specific tissue.
Research conducted by Amitav Sanyal at the Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey has provided new insights into the creation of multifunctionalizable nanogels that could have widespread applications in both drug delivery and bioimaging platforms. By synthesizing two separate groups containing reactive nanogels (thiol and maleimide), access to a whole class of biocompatible nanomaterials has opened up. The imaging of the nanogels was obtained using Delong America’s LVEM5 low-voltage electron microscope in TEM mode due to its precision and high contrast imaging capabilities.
Whether its repairing tissue after surgery, targeting specific organs for imaging by carrying biomarkers, or simple protein encapsulation and release, it looks like nanogels have the potential to become an indispensable tool for the medical trade in the coming years.
“Clickable” Nanogels via Thermally Driven Self-Assembly of Polymers: Facile Access to Targeted Imaging Platforms using Thiol− Maleimide Conjugation
Atkan, B.A, Chambre, L.A, Sanyal, R.A,B, & Sanyal, A.A,B (2017).
A: Department of Chemistry, Bogazici University, 34342 Bebek, Istanbul, Turkey
B: Center for Life Sciences and Technologies, Bogazici University, 34342 Bebek, Istanbul, Turkey
BioMacromolecules, (18), 490-497. doi:10.1021/acs.biomac.6b01576