Skip to Content

Smarter Drugs

Polymerix promises a better way to get drugs to where they’re needed in the body.
March 1, 2004

If you could watch what happens to a typical drug in your body, you’d probably see its ingredients spread quickly, even to places where they are not needed. The drug doesn’t always arrive at the right place at the right time or stick around long enough to have its full benefit. So drug developers often combine medicines with other compounds to maximize benefits and minimize side effects. Indeed, researchers are always looking for ways to more precisely control the timing, targeting, and dosage of drugs.

A Rutgers University startup, Polymerix, has a novel approach that could boost the potency of some drugs and provide for their steadier release over time. Whereas other drug delivery methods employ polymers-long molecular chains with carbon backbones-that degrade slowly to help control drug release in the body, Polymerix forms similar chains out of the drug molecules themselves. The technology delivers drugs more efficiently and at higher concentrations than conventional polymer carriers, says Kathryn Uhrich, a Rutgers chemistry professor and Polymerix’s scientific founder. The company’s drug formulations can be used in injectable or implantable forms or even as pills. For now, however, Polymerix is developing anti-inflammatory drug coatings for medical devices.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Death and Jeff Bezos
Death and Jeff Bezos

Meet Altos Labs, Silicon Valley’s latest wild bet on living forever

Funders of a deep-pocketed new "rejuvenation" startup are said to include Jeff Bezos and Yuri Milner.

tonga eruption
tonga eruption

Tonga’s volcano blast cut it off from the world. Here’s what it will take to get it reconnected.

The world is anxiously awaiting news from the island—but on top of the physical destruction, the eruption has disconnected it from the internet.

mouse engineered to grow human hair
mouse engineered to grow human hair

Going bald? Lab-grown hair cells could be on the way

These biotech companies are reprogramming cells to treat baldness, but it’s still early days.

conceptual illustration showing various women's faces being scanned
conceptual illustration showing various women's faces being scanned

A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click

Deepfake researchers have long feared the day this would arrive.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.