Nanometer-Sized Drug Delivery Devices (Nanoparticles) that Demonstrate High Encapsulation Efficiency and Sustained Release of Water-Soluble Drugs and their Preparation

Case ID:

This technology is a nano‑meter size drug delivery system that is capable of encapsulating water‑soluble drugs with high efficiency, allowing sustained release of the drug in the body. 

Background & Unmet Need:

There are a number of biological barriers to cellular drug delivery.  Simple diffusion across the cell membrane is feasible for only low molecular weight lipophilic drugs.  Because the cellular membrane is lipophilic, it limits the diffusion of water‑soluble compounds.  Nanoparticles can be used to provide targeted (cellular/tissue) delivery of drugs, to improve oral bioavailability, to sustain drug/gene effect in target tissue, to solubilize drugs for intravascular delivery, and to improve the stability of therapeutic agents against enzymatic degradation (nucleases and proteases), especially of protein, peptide, and nucleic acids drugs.  Due to their size, nanoparticles can penetrate deep into tissues through fine capillaries, cross the fenestration present in the epithelial lining (e.g., liver), and are generally taken up efficiently by the cells.  This allows efficient delivery of water –soluble therapeutic agents to target sites in the body.


Technology Description:

The device is a nanometer-size drug delivery system that is capable of encapsulating water-soluble drugs with high efficiency and offers sustained release of the encapsulated drug in buffers and body fluids.  Encapsulation efficiency close to 100% has been achieved with this formulation.  Additionally, these nanoparticles demonstrate sustained release of water-soluble drugs over a period of weeks (~60-80% of encapsulated drug released over a period of 4 weeks).


Commercial Applications:

  • Used for slow release of  pharmaceutically active ingredients


Stage of Development:



Competitive Advantages:

  • Convenient, injectable means of sustaining drug levels in cells and tissue over a period of weeks to months


Intellectual Property Status:

Patent application published


Related Publications or Citations of Work:



Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Joan Dunbar
Associate Vice President for Technology Commercialization
Wayne State University
(313) 577-5542
Jayanth Panyam
Mahesh Chavanpatil
Drug Delivery