Use of gold nano-particles to help drugs penetrate via the skin

A Discovery That May Change The Very Way We Take Our Medications

As Published on Ynet: Use of gold nano-particles to help drugs penetrate via the skin



Researchers from Hebrew University said that the discovery offers the potential to help in future drug development and enhance not just treatment of skin diseases but to change the way we all take drugs for all sorts of illnesses.

Researchers have found out how to engineer physical characteristics of nano-particles of gold in order to help them penetrate the skin via hair follicles.  The discovery paves the way for drug companies to develop all sorts of new drugs, not just for skin diseases, but that can be administered quickly and effectively. This is according to a new study that was conducted by a team of researchers led by Prof. Ofra Benny and doctoral student Netanel Friedman from the School of Pharmacy of the Faculty of Medicine at Hebrew University together with doctors from Hadassah Medical Center, Dr. Sharon Merims and Dr. Yonatan Alaya.


The researchers explained that nano-particles, miniscule particles that can be viewed only under a very specialized and powerful microscope, are known to provide substantial promise to advance pharmaceutical care, because they improve the chances for the drugs to penetrate to more tissues.  While the ability of these nano-particles to penetrate via the hair follicles was already known, what was less known was which particular nano-particles could best penetrate tissue. 


Prof. Ofra Benny, an expert in the field of nano-medicine and pharmaceuticals, utilized a combination of bioengineering with engineered tissues and set out to better understand the physical properties based on size and performance that could best penetrate via the follicles and allowed the best treatment possibilities when reaching the patient’s tissue.



According to the researchers, the long-term impact of this study can have critical importance for how we get drugs into our bodies.  In the future, drug development through advanced means like nano-technology can allow for benefits that respond directly to specific medical needs.  This will benefit not only diseases that affect the surface of the skin but any disease that is treated by accessing the blood stream.  “We thought about a concept like a nicotine strip, for example.  By introducing an advanced approach of drug delivery via nano-particles, we would be able to receive many drugs via this means.  It’s very simple to affix a sticker or to spread a cream as opposed to oral delivery or injection which is the traditional means in place today,” explains Prof. Benny.

For media publications: YNET