Researchers at the University of Buffalo (UB) have released results indicating that ORMOSIL (organically modified silica) nanoparticles could be used to deliver drugs. Each nanoparticle is a vessel, containing cavities that scientists can fill with helpful chemical compounds or gene therapies. The researchers are particularly interested in using ORMOSIL to deliver drugs deep in the brain, targeting problems related to neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease. A recent study on fruit flies demonstrated that long-term exposure to ORMOSIL, through breathing and feeding, did not injure the animals. "We saw that after feeding these nanoparticles in the fruit fly larvae, the ORMOSIL was going mainly into the guts and skin. But over time, in adult flies, you could see it in the brain. These results are really fascinating because these particles do not show any toxic effects on the whole organism or the neuronal cells," said Shermali Gunawardena, a UB assistant professor.
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