Characterisation of Hollow Polymer Capsules for Drug Delivery Research using qNano

Professor Frank Caruso and his team at the Melbourne Materials Institute at the University of Melbourne, are investigating Layer-by-Layer (LbL) assembled nanoengineered capsules that have applications as drug delivery vehicles. Izon’s technology is being used by members of the research group to quantify the capsules as well as to investigate the flexibility of the hollow structures. The capsules are made by adsorbing the layers onto a silica template which is later removed.

Their research requires accurate quantification of the capsules to ensure consistent dosing for in vitro and in vivo experiments. Sarah Dodds, a post-graduate researcher in Professor Caruso’s team, has been using the qNano to accurately measure the concentration of the nano-engineered capsules, which are difficult to quantify any other way due to their small size. 

In addition to quantification, Sarah and Dr. Angus Johnston are using the qNano to probe the flexibility of the capsules. This characteristic is of interest as it has implications for the ability of the delivery vehicles to reach their target site in the body. An understanding of deformability is needed to explain the in vivo behaviour of capsules. The tunable nanopore in the qNano allows comparison of LbL systems with and without the silica template used in synthesis.