Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Medicine reaches the target with the help of magnets

26.08.2010
If a drug can be guided to the right place in the body, the treatment is more effective and there are fewer side-effects. Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have now developed magnetic nanoparticles that can be directed to metallic implants such as artificial knee joints, hip joints and stents in the coronary arteries.

Associate Professor Maria Kempe, her brother and colleague Dr Henrik Kempe and members of staff at Skåne University Hospital have shown that the principle works in animal experiments. They have succeeded in attaching a clot-dissolving drug to the nanoparticles and, with the help of magnets, have directed the particles to a blood clot in a stent in the heart to dissolve it. Thus the nanoparticles have been able to stop an incipient heart attack.

A stent is a tube-shaped metal net used to treat narrowing of the coronary arteries. First the artery is expanded using a balloon catheter, then a stent is inserted to keep the artery open. However, the method is not without problems: depending on the type of stent inserted, the cells of the artery wall can grow and again obstruct the artery or a blood clot can develop in the stent.

In the Lund researchers’ experiments, the nanoparticles were coated with a drug used to treat blood clots. The particles could also carry other drugs, e.g. drugs to stop the cell growth that makes an artery become narrower.

“They could also carry antibiotics to treat an infection developed after insertion of an implant. We have developed polymer materials that can be loaded with antibiotics – these could produce interesting results in this context”, says Maria Kempe.

Guiding drug-loaded magnetic particles using a magnet outside the body is not a new idea. However, previous attempts have failed for various reasons: it has only been possible to reach the body’s superficial tissue and the particles have often obstructed the smallest blood vessels.

The Lund researchers’ attempt has succeeded partly because nanotechnology has made the particles tiny enough to pass through the smallest arteries and partly because the target has been a metallic stent. When the stent is placed in a magnetic field, the magnetic force becomes sufficiently strong to attract the magnetic nanoparticles. For the method to work the patient therefore has to have an implant containing a magnetic metal.

”It takes many years to develop a treatment method that can be used on patients. But the good initial results make us hopeful”, says Maria Kempe.

An article about the results, entitled ‘The use of magnetite nanoparticles for implant-assisted magnetic drug targeting in thrombolytic therapy’, has recently been published in the journal Biomaterials. The article can be found on http://www.sciencedirect.com, enter Maria Kempe in the Author search field.

Maria Kempe can be contacted by telephone, +46 (0)46 222 98 57 or +46 (0)70 222 08 57, or by email, maria.kempe@med.lu.se.

Ingela Björck, Press Officer, Lund University can be contacted by telephone, +46 (0)46 222 76 46 or email: ingela.bjorck@rektor.lu.se

Ingela Björck | idw
Further information:
http://www.sciencedirect.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku

nachricht Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>