Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New nanoparticles target cardiovascular disease

19.01.2010
Could potentially eliminate need for arterial stents in some patients

Researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School have built targeted nanoparticles that can cling to artery walls and slowly release medicine, an advance that potentially provides an alternative to drug-releasing stents in some patients with cardiovascular disease.

The particles, dubbed "nanoburrs" because they are coated with tiny protein fragments that allow them to stick to target proteins, can be designed to release their drug payload over several days. They are one of the first such particles that can precisely home in on damaged vascular tissue, says Omid Farokhzad, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and an author of a paper describing the nanoparticles in the Jan. 18 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Farokhzad and MIT Institute Professor Robert Langer, also an author of the paper, have previously developed nanoparticles that seek out and destroy tumors.

The nanoburrs are targeted to a specific structure, known as the basement membrane, which lines the arterial walls and is only exposed when those walls are damaged. Therefore, the nanoburrs could be used to deliver drugs to treat atherosclerosis and other inflammatory cardiovascular diseases. In the current study, the team used paclitaxel, a drug that inhibits cell division and helps prevent the growth of scar tissue that can clog arteries.

"This is a very exciting example of nanotechnology and cell targeting in action that I hope will have broad ramifications," says Langer.

The researchers hope the particles could become a complementary approach that can be used with vascular stents, which are the standard of care for most cases of clogged and damaged arteries, or in lieu of stents in areas not well suited to them, such as near a fork in the artery.

The particles, which are spheres 60 nanometers in diameter, consist of three layers: an inner core containing a complex of the drug and a polymer chain called PLA; a middle layer of soybean lecithin, a fatty material; and an outer coating of a polymer called PEG, which protects the particle as it travels through the bloodstream.

The drug can only be released when it detaches from the PLA polymer chain, which occurs gradually by a reaction called ester hydrolysis. The longer the polymer chain, the longer this process takes, so the researchers can control the timing of the drug's release by altering the chain length. So far, they have achieved drug release over 12 days, in tests in cultured cells.

In tests in rats, the researchers showed that the nanoburrs can be injected intravenously into the tail and still reach their intended target — damaged walls of the left carotid artery. The burrs bound to the damaged walls at twice the rate of nontargeted nanoparticles.

Because the particles can deliver drugs over a longer period of time, and can be injected intravenously, patients would not have to endure repeated and surgically invasive injections directly into the area that requires treatment, says Juliana Chan, a graduate student in Langer's lab and lead author of the paper.

How they did it: The researchers screened a library of short peptide sequences to find one that binds most effectively to molecules on the surface of the basement membrane. They used the most effective one, a seven-amino-acid sequence dubbed C11, to coat the outer layer of their nanoparticles.

Next steps: The team is testing the nanoburrs in rats over a two-week period to determine the most effective dose for treating damaged vascular tissue. The particles may also prove useful in delivering drugs to tumors.

"This technology could have broad applications across other important diseases, including cancer and inflammatory diseases where vascular permeability or vascular damage is commonly observed," says Farokhzad.

Source: "Spatiotemporal controlled delivery of nanoparticles to injured vasculature," Juliana Chan, Liangfang Zhang, Rong Tong, Debuyati Ghosh, Weiwei Gao, Grace Liao, Kai Yuet, David Gray, June-Wha Rhee, Jianjun Cheng, Gershon Golomb, Peter Libby, Robert Langer, Omid Farokhzad. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, week of Jan. 18, 2010.

Jen Hirsch | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mit.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

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: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>