Microgravity can be leveraged for the production and testing of microparticles (1-1000 μm polymeric carriers) and nanoparticles (1–100 nm polymeric carriers) for early cancer detection, precision drug delivery, and “smart material” therapeutics (e.g., Janus nanoparticles). Reduced convection and sedimentation in microgravity can result in improved uniformity during the production of micro- and nanoparticles at large scales for use in therapeutics and biosensors. Nanoparticles are used to target tumor cells with high specificity for the delivery of a precision-controlled drug dose. In combination with exosomes, nanoparticle-drug conjugates can escape immune surveillance for the delivery of active pharmaceutical ingredients to tumors with increased human biocompatibility and reduced toxicity.
- AstraZeneca is leveraging the ISS National Lab to advance a novel drug delivery system for therapeutic cancer vaccines (a type of immunotherapy) using nanoparticles as carriers for drugs to provide targeted and controlled-release therapies.