Nanoparticles from cataract lens waste for safer drug delivery

Kolkata: Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur have crafted nanoparticles from discarded cataract-affected lens, a development they claim could aid in safe, targeted drug delivery.

The innovative nano-carriers designed by Swagata Dasgupta, faculty at the Department of Chemistry and research schola, Susmitnarayan Chaudhury make use of ‘cataractous eye protein isolate’ (CEPI) which is the emulsion of aggregated protein mass from the cloudy lens.

“Each day numerous cataract surgeries are performed and the emulsion that is aspirated from the eye discarded. The motivation is related to the use of discarded material for the preparation of the nanoparticles that have the potential to be used in compound/drug delivery,” Dasgupta told IANS.

Further, she pointed out, the preparation of CEPI nanoparticles is economical since the emulsion itself from which the nanoparticles are made is discarded waste material.

The nano-carriers’ USP lie in their composition.

Dasgupta elaborated: “Being made of proteinaceous material the likelihood of any side effects is expected to be minimal in comparison to biocompatible polymers and its degradation during the release of a compound/drug at the target site will not result in toxic fragments.”

A patent has been filed under the title ‘Preparation of Nanoparticles derived from cataractous eye Protein isolate’.