Research Highlight

Nanogel ferry for stomach cancer drugs

doi:10.1038/nindia.2014.105 Published online 31 July 2014


Researchers have created, for the first time, a nanogel drug carrier from bio-ionic liquids that can deliver a stomach cancer drug for a sustained period of about 10 days. The nanogel carrier could be a potential pH-sensitive vehicle for delivery of stomach cancer drugs1.

Nanogels are considered as one of the most suitable nanocarriers for drug, gene and protein delivery. There are many methods to make nanogels but polymerisable bio-ionic liquids had not been used for the synthesis of such nanocarriers so far. 

The researchers from Bhavnagar-based Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute in Gujarat made a stimuli-responsive nanogel system of around 41±15 nm. They created the nanogel system by the simultaneous polymerisation and cross-linking of a polymerisable bio-based ionic liquid. The nanogel showed prolonged drug delivery for 5-fluorouracil, an anticancer drug at pH 1.2 (the pH of stomach) for 10 days at physiological human body temperature (37°C). However, no substantial drug delivery was observed at pH 5 and 7.4. 

“Such prolonged drug release profile makes the nanogel system a potential pH sensitive drug nanocarrier vehicle for in vivo delivery of stomach specific therapeutic agents,” says one of the researchers Kamalesh Prasad.

The nanogels are prepared from polymerisable ionic liquids, which are biodegradable, cheap and non-toxic. They would be particularly useful in the treatment of stomach cancer, where prolonged slow release drug delivery is required.


1. Mukesh, C. et al. A polymerizable bioionic liquid based nanogel: a new nanocarrier for an anticancer drug. Macromol. Chem. Phys. (2014) doi: 10.1002/macp.201400269