Nested Nanoparticles for Site-specific, Sequential Drug Delivery


New nested nanoparticles for drug delivery have been developed at UTHealth to deliver multiple drugs in a site-, time-, and sequence-specific manner. These nanoparticles consist of a drug-containing polymeric core made of PLGA, surrounded by an outer shell of cyclodextrin complexed with a second drug. These two delivery components facilitate dual-release kinetics, and have been shown in vivo to be efficacious at inhibiting tumor growth compared to controls. These nanoparticles have been designed for site-specific delivery of cancer therapeutics to tumors but have broad applicability, including cardiovascular and neurological applications. 


Image Description:

Left: Schematic representation of nanoparticle platform for site-specific, sequential delivery of therapeutics to tumors. Drug in the outer shell of the nanoparticle is released first, followed by the sustained release of a second drug located within the core of the nanoparticle.


Right: Scanning electron microscopy of nanoparticles, highlighting their small size. Scale bar represents 200 nm.


Stage of Development:

Efficacy of the nested nanoparticles has been shown in a murine breast cancer model.  In vitro cancer models show internalization of nanoparticles and controlled delivery of the therapeutic agents.  Delivery using the nested nanoparticle showed greater inhibition of tumor growth as compared to drug delivery without the nanoparticle.  The nanoparticles have been successfully examined in animal models as a therapy for cardiac arrhythmias.


Intellectual Property Status:

Patent application pending and available for licensing



Ruiz-Esparza, G. U., Wu, S., Segura-Ibarra, V., Cara, F. E., Evans, K. W., Milosevic, M., Ziemys, A., Kojic, M., Meric-Bernstam, F., Ferrari, M. and Blanco, E. (2014), Polymer Nanoparticles Encased in a Cyclodextrin Complex Shell for Potential Site- and Sequence-Specific Drug Release. Adv. Funct. Mater., 24: 4753–4761. doi:10.1002/adfm.201400011



Elvin Blanco, Ph.D.


Patent Information:

The preceding is intended to be a non-confidential and limited description of a novel technology created at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). This promotional material is not comprehensive in scope and should not replace company’s diligence in a thorough evaluation of the technology. Please contact the Office of Technology Management for more information regarding this technology.
Drug Delivery
For Information, Contact:
Hannah Nelson
Senior Technology License Associate
University of Texas Health Science Center At Houston
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