Using Grapefruit to Deliver Medicine

Dan Citrus, Grapefruit, Research

Huang-Ge Zhang

University of Louisville (UofL) researchers have found a less toxic way to deliver medicines by using the natural lipids in plants, particularly grapefruit and ginger.

The UofL technologies use exosomes, which are very small fragments of living, edible plant cells, to transport various therapeutic agents, including anti-cancer drugs, DNA/RNA and proteins such as antibodies. These exosomes help ensure the drug is properly absorbed by the body. 

Current practice is to use nanoparticles or liposomes made from synthetic materials to deliver these medicines. However, these materials are more expensive to produce in large quantities and can cause adverse health effects, such as cell toxicity and chronic inflammation. Edible plant-derived exosomes don’t have these problems, said UofL’s Huang-Ge Zhang. He added that the exosomes come from natural, readily available sources and have anti-inflammatory effects. Zhang works at UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center and Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

The resulting intellectual property portfolio consisting of 12 patent families invented by Zhang has…..

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