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Institute for Commercialization

New Liposomes for Delivery of Cancer Treatments

Reference Number: K 10-22

Inventors: Bossmann, Stefan; Troyer, Deryl; Basel, Matt; Shrestha, Tej

Owner: Kansas State University Research Foundation


Invention Summary

Researchers at Kansas State University have successfully created more effective liposomes with better encapsulation, targeting and delivery capabilities through protease sensitive copolymer encapsulation for delivery of anti-cancer therapeutics.  Their selective liposomes have a covalently bound polymer cage, which prevents premature leakage of contents, in combination with cholesterol-derived protease sensitivity.  Studies indicate that this new technology may potentially have an exponentially longer shelf-life, will allow for specific targeting of cancer cells, as well as other malignant cells, and rapid delivery of all contents within the liposome upon contact with cancer-specific proteases.  Since the proteases that activate the release of the liposomes’ contents only exist in the presence of cancer cells, very little if any immune response should occur nor will cancer cells have time to build up defense to the killing agent.

Of the numerous cancer treatment techniques, liposome drug delivery has been at the forefront of discussion over the past decade, due to its versatility and ability to deliver drugs for not only cancer treatment, but also treatment of other diseases or ailments.  However, despite great promise, the use of liposomes in treating cancer has been severely limited by their short shelf-life, inability to contain cancer-killing agents without leaking, and lack of mechanisms to release all contents rapidly upon contact with cancer cells.

Potential Advantages of this New Delivery Method

  • Typical liposome shelf-life is 1-2 weeks, whereas these liposomes may last 3-12 months
  • The protease sensitive polymer  cage prevents leakage and increases selectivity
  • High sensitivity to cancer-proteases allows liposome contents to be released rapidly
  • These liposomes can be used to target cancer and other diseases
  • Costs will be similar to pre-existing, less effective analogues


  • Treatment of cancerous tumors or other concentrated malignant cells
  • Targeted treatment of other diseases or conditions that involve signature proteins or cells that can be “painted” and attacked
  • Extended shelf-life would allow for storage and shipment, potentially opening new global markets