Non-Profit Trusted Source of Non-Commercial Health Information
The Original Voice of the American Academy of Anti-Aging, Preventative, and Regenerative Medicine
logo logo
Drug Delivery Technology Cancer Sexual-Reproductive Women's Health

Using Sperm To Treat Gynecological Diseases

3 months, 2 weeks ago

2896  0
Posted on Feb 02, 2018, 11 a.m.

Using carriers to deliver drugs to specific genes is an approach researchers are utilizing to minimize the side effects of treatment, especially in regards to cancer. There have been several tiny carriers tested to use as delivery for this use such as bacteria and stem cells. Researchers suggest that they have found another minute potential drug carrier to use in the treatment of gynecological conditions, that new vehicle being sperm. Researchers claim that they have been able to exploit the natural swimming power of sperm to carrier a cancer drug directly to a cervical tumor during lab tests as published in the journal of ACS Nano.

Using carriers to deliver drugs to specific genes is an approach researchers are utilizing to minimize the side effects of treatment, especially in regards to cancer. There have been several tiny carriers tested to use as delivery for this use such as bacteria and stem cells. Researchers suggest that they have found another minute potential drug carrier to use in the treatment of gynecological conditions, that new vehicle being sperm. Researchers claim that they have been able to exploit the natural swimming power of sperm to carrier a cancer drug directly to a cervical tumor during lab tests as published in the journal of ACS Nano.

 

Scientists have been trying to find an effective way to treat cancer by targeting the cancer cells with drugs for many years facing difficulty and challenges on multiple fronts. For example drugs don’t always travel deeply enough, and the drugs don’t get diluted in the bodily fluids, or the drugs somehow get sidetracked and taken up by other healthy organs.

 

In an attempt to try to get around these issues scientists have developed and started to use other methods for the delivery of drugs, such as loading pharmaceuticals into bacteria to be used as a tiny delivery vehicle. Some bacteria have been found to have the ability to effectively contain some drugs compounds and propel themselves, successfully being used to ferry the drugs. To reach a specific target the microbes can be guided by a magnetic field or other mechanism to reach the intended goal, the body’s immune system can attack these tiny delivery microbes and destroy them before they are able to reach their target.

 

Along with colleagues at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden, Mariana Medina-Sanchez looked at sperm to conduct tests on looking for another form of self propelled cell to use as an alternative drug carrier to bacteria.

 

The team packaged a commonly used cancer drug called doxorubicin into bovine sperm cells which were outfitted with tiny magnetic harnesses. Using the magnetic field the sperm hybrid motor was then guided to a lab grown tumor of cervical cancer cells. The arms on the harness open up when the harness arms press against the tumor, releasing the sperm, which then swam into the tumor, and then fused its membrane with that of a cancer cell, releasing the drug. Using this same method, unleashed by the thousands, the drug laden sperm killed more than 80% of a cancerous ball, only leaking minute amounts of their precious payload while en route to delivery at their intended target. 

 

Further studies are still needed to be done to ensure that this new delivery method will work in animals, with the goal of it eventually being used in humans. Researchers are hopeful saying that the hybrid sperm motors have the potential to eventually one day be used to treat cancers and other diseases in the female reproductive tract.

 

Materials provided by American Chemical Society.

Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

Haifeng Xu, Mariana Medina-Sánchez, Veronika Magdanz, Lukas Schwarz, Franziska Hebenstreit, Oliver G. Schmidt. Sperm-Hybrid Micromotor for Targeted Drug Delivery. ACS Nano, 2017; DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.7b06398

 

 

 

 

Subscribe to our Newsletter

WorldHealth Videos