Posted on Mar 21, 2014, 6 a.m.
Clemson University (US) team develops nanoparticles that effectively deliver drugs targeting damaged arteries.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. While a primary conventional approach to treat clogged and damaged arteries is to implant vascular stents to hold the vessels open, the method is highly invasive and requires intensive medical supervision. Naren Vyavahare, from Clemson University (South cfrolina, USA), and colleagues have developed sticky nanoparticles capable of delivering drugs targeting damaged rarteries, that could be used alongside stents or in lieu of them. Whereas healthy arteries have elastic fibers that provide elasticity to allow expansion and recoil during blood flow, cardiovascular diseases damage these fibers. The nanoparticles, coated with a sticky protein, latch onto damaged arteries and can deliver a drug to the site in slow release fashion. These nanoparticles can be engineered to deliver an array of drugs to the damaged or clogged artery. These particles also have unique surfaces that allow prolonged circulation time, providing more opportunities for these particles to accumulate at the damage site. Commenting that: “These nanoparticles can be delivered intravenously to target injured areas and can administer drugs over longer periods of time,” the study authors submit that their innovation is “attractive to deliver therapeutic or imaging agents to the diseased vasculature.”
Aditi Sinha, Aleksey Shaporev, Nasim Nosoudi, Yang Lei, Alexey Vertegel, Susan Lessner, Naren Vyavahare. ”Nanoparticle targeting to diseased vasculature for imaging and therapy.” Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, 24 February 2014.