Leonardo has created a library of first stage nanoporous silicon particles of specific shape and size, and surface properties. The first stage can be loaded with different nanoparticles as second stage delivery vehicles to generate custom drug delivery solutions. The second stage can be loaded with pharmaceuticals ranging from highly toxic or insoluble chemotherapy agents to delicate biological molecules.
The human body maintains a sophisticated series of defense mechanisms to guard against infection and toxicities. Unfortunately, these mechanisms prevent many therapeutics from reaching their intended sites of action. A variety of white blood cells are present in the blood stream to engulf infectious agents like bacteria and viruses before they can infect sensitive tissue. The walls of normal blood vessels present a physical barrier to particles above a certain size and cells are selective in passing molecules through their membranes. The ability of a therapeutic to elude each bio-barrier is highly dependent on its physical, chemical and biological properties including size, shape, surface chemistry, and density. Leonardo designs and produces multistage silicon-based nanoparticles that circumvent each bio-barrier and provide dramatic increases in access to tumor cells. Leonardo has developed a leadership position in the emerging science known as "transport oncophysics" through its expertise and experience in hemodynamics (the branch of physiology dealing with the forces involved in the circulation of the blood) and rational delivery system design.
Nano- and micro- sized particles preferentially accumulate in tumors due to the porous nature of the blood vessels that feed them and many nanoparticle drug delivery systems have been designed to take advantage of this effect. Leonardo has achieved results that surpass single stage delivery systems. Leveraging the vast technical know-how to shape silicon developed for the computer industry, Leonardo's technology improves the efficiency of drug delivery. Leonardo uses proprietary mathematical algorithms to design multi-stage delivery particles that circumvent the multiple bio-barriers between infusion and the interior of a target cell and has pioneered combinatorial nano-manufacturing methods based on photolithography.