On-Command Drug Delivery System via Carbon Nanotubes for Cancer or Other Diseases (Case 2091)

Principal Investigator:


Jingming Xu, PhD, Professor

School of Engineering

Brown University

Providence, RI


Brief Description:


Targeted therapies that require fewer drug doses/volumes and are non-toxic to normal cells have been the treatment goal for cancer and many other diseases.  Various nanostructures and materials have been used as intracellular carriers for drug delivery, but not without challenges of continued toxicity, drug/cargo leakage and degradation, and inefficient drug loading and release issues. 


Controlled loading and unloading has been unattainable, with effective drug release remaining elusive.  High loading efficiency and unloading capacity - simultaneously - has been hindered by inherent interactions between payload and carrier surfaces, which also limits drug/cargo selection.  Therefore, a need exists for a nanostructure drug delivery system that is non-toxic, retains its cargo without leakage and non-specific effects, and has high loading efficiency with highly effective releasing capacity. 


This invention is an innovative drug delivery system based on carbon nanotubes (CNT) that addresses the shortcomings of current systems.  CNTs have exceptional physiochemical properties: internalized easily by cells, biocompatible, chemically inert (non-toxic), with high surface area, high aspect ratio, and metallic or semi-metallic behavior.  This CNT system encapsulates a therapeutic (or toxin) in a temperature sensitive hydrogel polymer, which is temporally regulated by the application of harmless induction heat.  The CNT can function by destructively encapsulating toxins or by healing through drug release of a variety of biomolecules, e.g., siRNA, peptide, plasmid, or stem cell.  Furthermore, this novel system exhibits low drug leakage rates, thereby maintaining therapeutic potency and significantly reducing unwanted interactions with normal cells.


The invention is applicable to the pharmaceutical market and drug delivery niche for treatment of human and animal diseases, to be paired with a therapeutic or diagnostic - via a labeled biomarker.




US patent application 14/600,188 is pending.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Margaret Shabashevich,
Manager of Operations
Technology Ventures Office
Brown University
401-863-7499 TVO_Patents@brown.edu
Jingming Xu
Chia-Hsuan Wu
Jin Ho Kim
Cong Cao
John Marshall
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