Two students at the University of York are launching a project to develop a pharmaceutical called “the Nanject.” Atif Syed and Zakareya Hussein are currently raising money to crowdfund the research. If successfully completed, the Nanject will allow drugs to be administered without the use of injections.
Syed and Hussein identify the numerous issues associated with injections as one of the motivations of their research. Firstly, all injections carry some risk of infection. And in the developing world, syringes are often disposed of unsafely – kids who live near garbage piles and landfills risk stepping on exposed needles. Perhaps more worrisome is that up to 40% of syringes in the world are reused in the absence of sterilization, according to the WHO. This puts patients at risk of contracting new diseases. Injections also often require professional administration, which can be expensive and make it difficult to administer vaccines and medicine in the developing world. Nanject could potentially solve that problem.
The students plan to start their research by developing a patch-administered nanoparticle cancer treatment. The treatment will hopefully be able to target cancerous cells without significantly damaging healthy cells. Eventually, though, they envision the Nanject being able to administer a range of drugs. By allowing medicine to be administered in the developing world without injections, this technology would potentially improve the lives of the poor.
For their research to actually happen, Syed and Hussein must first raise enough money to buy all the necessary materials. Those interested in supporting their research can visit their crowd funding page at https://www.microryza.com/projects/targeted-drug-delivery-by-using-magnetic-nanoparticles.
– Peter Lessler
Sources: Microryza, Wired