Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Battle of the Blood Clots

11.10.2013
Tailored glycopolymers as anticoagulant heparin mimetics

One of the risks of any large operation is the occurrence of blood clots. To prevent this, patients are routinely given the anticoagulant heparin or related drugs. American scientists have now introduced a new approach to the production of synthetic heparin mimetics with better activity profiles.



Heparin has been used as an anticoagulant since 1935 to both treat and prevent the deep vein thrombosis that can result from operations, blood transfusions, or dialysis. Heparin is a substance produced by the body and consists of long chains of sugar (saccharide) molecules. The sugar building blocks contain a large number of sulfate groups.

Because heparin is obtained from animal tissues, its use does pose some problems. Contamination may lead to health risks. Furthermore, batches of the drug are often not homogeneous so the effectiveness of a given dose must be calculated case by case. In about 3 % of patients, long-term treatment with heparin leads to a dangerous autoimmune disease.

Low-molecular-weight drugs such as Arixtra, which contains only five sugar groups, have been developed as an alternative. Their disadvantage is the very complex and expensive process used to make them.

Linda C. Hsieh-Wilson and her team at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena have now uncovered an interesting new angle: synthetic glycopolymers, long chains of molecules that have sugar molecules as side groups. The researchers chose to use two sugars typically found in heparin as side groups.

One of these sugars was equipped with an additional sulfate group. The synthesis of such glycopolymers is much simpler than the synthesis of natural polysaccharides, but it is still a complex undertaking, and it is made more difficult in this case because of the need to attach sulfate groups in a controlled fashion. The team was able to use a ring-opening metathesis polymerization reaction (ROMP) to make polymer chains of varying length with a maximum of 45 units.

The longer molecular chains demonstrate stronger activity than anticoagulants currently in clinical use. The additional sulfate group is critical to this effectiveness. Interestingly, systematic changes to the length of the chain and pattern of sulfate groups allow for fine-tuning of the anticoagulant effect. This makes it possible to make drugs with different activities from those previously in clinical use. For example, the glycopolymer containing 45 building blocks targeted the two major branches of the blood coagulation cascade to a different extent than both the small molecule and heparin polysaccharide drugs.

About the Author
Dr. Linda Hsieh-Wilson is a Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology and an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Her research focuses on the application of organic chemistry to probe the roles of carbohydrates and protein glysosylation in neurobiology and cancer, and has been recognized by multiple awards.
Author: Linda C. Hsieh-Wilson, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (USA), http://chemistry.caltech.edu/~fucose/contact.html
Title: Tailored Glycopolymers as Anticoagulant Heparin Mimetics
Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201306968

Linda C. Hsieh-Wilson | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences

nachricht Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists
07.12.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>