A drug delivery precursor?
I’ve been listening to the audiobook of The Demon Under the Microscope by Thomas Hager. It’s about the discovery of sulfonamides, the first class of drugs shown to be effective against antibacterial infections. Prior to this, of course, there was no treatment for bacterial infections, and many people died from conditions we would consider minor problems. So far it’s pretty good. Interesting item in the early chapters:
Hager extensively describes Germany’s success in the chemical industry in the early twentieth century, and one of their big products was synthetic dye. It was used in clothing, of course, but it had scientific value in that it was used to stain tissue samples. One pharmaceutical company pursued finding an antiseptic agent to attach to the dye particles that attached themselves to bacteria. Was this the world’s first attempt at targeted drug delivery? I suppose it would have been, had they found an appropriate drug. Unfortunately, everything they tried was either ineffective or toxic to humans.
I hope I’ll be able to write a new post before next weekend. My current experiment is very time consuming!