Monthly Archives: February 2017

Thermogel PLGA-PEG-PLGA from PolySciTech used in development of minimally invasive liver-cancer microwave ablation therapy


Recently, researchers have developed improvements in the localization and effectiveness of Microwave Ablation therapy by combining PolySciTech Division of Akina, Inc. ( thermogelling product (PLGA-PEG-PLGA PolyVivo, Cat# AK088) with non-radioactive Cesium chloride to create an injectable thermal accelerant. This research holds promise for improved ablation treatment of liver cancer.  Read more: Park, William Keun Chan, Aaron Wilhelm Palmer Maxwell, Victoria Elizabeth Frank, Michael Patrick Primmer, Scott Andrew Collins, Grayson Luderman Baird, and Damian Edward Dupuy. “Evaluation of A Novel Thermal Accelerant For Augmentation Of Microwave Energy During Image-guided Tumor Ablation.” Theranostics, in print (2017).

“The primary challenge in thermal ablation of liver tumors (e.g. hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatic colorectal cancer) is the relatively high recurrence rate (~30%) for which incomplete ablation at the periphery of the tumor is the most common reason. In an attempt to overcome this, we have developed a novel thermal accelerant (TA) agent capable of augmenting microwave energy from a distance normally unattainable by a single microwave ablation antenna. This cesium-based block co-polymer compound transforms from a liquid to a gel at body temperature and is intrinsically visible by computed tomography. Using an agarose phantom model, herein we demonstrate that both the rate and magnitude of temperature increase during microwave ablation were significantly greater in the presence of TA when compared with controls. These results suggest robust augmentation of microwave energy, and may translate into larger ablation zone volumes within biologic tissues. Further work using in vivo techniques is necessary to confirm these findings. Key words: Image-guided thermal ablation, microwave ablation, thermal accelerant, augmentation of microwave energy, non-radioactive cesium chloride, block-co-polymer, PLGA-PEG-PLGA, dipole moment, complex dielectric permittivity, dielectric constant, loss factor.”

New whitepaper on thermogelling PLCL-PEG-PLCL aqueous storage stability as a ready-to-go solution

PolySciTech division of Akina, Inc ( provides a wide array of biodegradable polymers. One class of these is thermogelling polymers which can dissolve in cold water and then form into a solid gel once the water is warmed above the LCST. In some situations, one may want to dissolve the polymer in an aqeous solution and then store it in this ready-to-go condition for some time prior to use. As these polymers are hydrolysable, there is a finite span of time that this gel solution can be stored. Recently, accelerated degradation testing was performed using PLCL-PEG-PLCL PolyVivo AK109. The PLCL blocks provide for slower degradation as compared with PLGA blocks and this study was designed to see how long these thermogels can be store. You can see more on this here (

mPEG-PLA from PolySciTech used as part of SPION-methicillin loaded nanoparticle development for eradication of drug-resistant bacterial biofilms

There is increasing prevalence of bacterial resistance towards antibiotics due to genetic as well as structural changes. Notably, certain types of bacteria tend to form into tight biofilms which are surrounded by a protective matrix that reduces antibiotic infiltration. These biofilms can be up to 1000 times more resistant towards conventional antibiotics than loose bacteria and account for up to 60% of all infectious diseases in the western world. Recently, researchers at Northeastern University utilized mPEG-PLA (PolyVivo cat# AK021) from PolySciTech division of Akina, Inc. ( to co-encapsulate iron-oxide particles and methicillin inside polymeric nanoparticles. They discovered that these nanoparticles, under a magnetic field, were able to penetrate deep into staph-bacteria biofilms and kill the bacteria, while having no toxicity towards mammalian cells. This research holds promise for providing advanced treatment options of drug-resistant bacteria and infections at medical implant surfaces. Read more: Geilich, Benjamin M., Ilia Gelfat, Srinivas Sridhar, Anne L. van de Ven, and Thomas J. Webster. “Superparamagnetic iron oxide-encapsulating polymersome nanocarriers for biofilm eradication.” Biomaterials 119 (2017): 78-85.

“Abstract: The rising prevalence and severity of antibiotic-resistant biofilm infections poses an alarming threat to public health worldwide. Here, biocompatible multi-compartment nanocarriers were synthesized to contain both hydrophobic superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) and the hydrophilic antibiotic methicillin for the treatment of medical device-associated infections. SPION co-encapsulation was found to confer unique properties, enhancing both nanocarrier relaxivity and magneticity compared to individual SPIONs. These iron oxide-encapsulating polymersomes (IOPs) penetrated 20 μm thick Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilms with high efficiency following the application of an external magnetic field. Three-dimensional laser scanning confocal microscopy revealed differential bacteria death as a function of drug and SPION loading. Complete eradication of all bacteria throughout the biofilm thickness was achieved using an optimized IOP formulation containing 40 μg/mL SPION and 20 μg/mL of methicillin. Importantly, this formulation was selectively toxic towards methicillin-resistant biofilm cells but not towards mammalian cells. These novel iron oxide-encapsulating polymersomes demonstrate that it is possible to overcome antibiotic-resistant biofilms by controlling the positioning of nanocarriers containing two or more therapeutics. Keywords: Biofilm; Polymersome; SPION; Staphylococcus epidermidis; Antibiotic-resistance; Nanomedicine”

Akanocure Press Release

You can obtain commercially available Akanocure products at read more in a a recent press release regarding Akanocure is available here

Amine-endcap PLGA from PolySciTech used in development of heart-attack treatment

Heart attack, or myocardial infarction, is the leading cause of death worldwide. One of the causes of tissue damage which occurs during a heart attack is excess calcium influx that occurs once blood-flow is reestablished (reperfusion). This calcium influx leads to cell death and massive tissue damage to the heart muscles rendering them inoperable which can be lethal for the patient. Recently, researchers working jointly at University of Iowa and Mahidol University (Thailand), utilized PLGA-NH2 from PolySciTech division of Akina, Inc. ( (PolyVivo AI063) as a component in developing a targeted nanoparticle preparation which delivered an CaMKII inhibitor peptide to prevent heart-cell death during reperfusion. This research holds promise for the development of a medicine which can be used to prevent tissue damage during a heart-attack potentially aiding in life-saving therapy. Read more here: Wongrakpanich, Amaraporn, Angie S. Morris, Sean M. Geary, A. Joiner Mei-ling, and Aliasger K. Salem. “Surface-modified particles loaded with CaMKII inhibitor protect cardiac cells against mitochondrial injury.” International Journal of Pharmaceutics (2017).

“Abstract: An excess of calcium (Ca2+) influx into mitochondria during mitochondrial re-energization is one of the causes of myocardial cell death during ischemic/reperfusion injury. This overload of Ca2+ triggers the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening which leads to programmed cell death. During the ischemic/reperfusion stage, the activated Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) enzyme is responsible for Ca2+ influx. To reduce CaMKII-related cell death, sub-micron particles composed of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA), loaded with a CaMKII inhibitor peptide were fabricated. The CaMKII inhibitor peptide-loaded (CIP) particles were coated with a mitochondria targeting moiety, triphenylphosphonium cation (TPP), which allowed the particles to accumulate and release the peptide inside mitochondria to inhibit CaMKII activity. The fluorescently labeled TPP-CIP were taken up by mitochondria and successfully reduced ROS caused by Isoprenaline (ISO) in a differentiated rat cardiomyocyte-like cell line. When cells were treated with TPP-CIP prior ISO exposure, they maintained mitochondrial membrane potential. The TPP-CIP protected cells from ISO-induced ROS production and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential. Thus, TPP-CIP have the potential to be used in protection against ischemia/reperfusion injury.”