Thrombosis - the formation of internal blood clots - is a common cause of complications and even death following surgery. To create a better means of preventing thrombosis, researchers at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine coated red blood cells (RBCs) with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a clot-dissolving drug commonly used as an emergency treatment for stroke. When given alone, tPA has a short life span in circulation and has the potential to cause serious bleeding as it diffuses out of the bloodstream. The RBC/tPA combo, however, lasts ten times longer in the bloodstream than free-floating tPA and decreases the likelihood of excess bleeding, according to a new study.
"The idea of coating red blood cells with tPA was to create a Trojan Horse, a vehicle for sneaking tPA into the bloodstream that could not only add to the drugs longevity, but would also allow it to be incorporated into a growing blood clot. RBC/tPA can dissolve blood clots from within," said Vladimir R, Muzykantov, MD, PhD, associate professor in Penns Department of Pharmacology and author of the study. "Our research shows that the Trojan Horse approach converts tPA into a potent killer of nascent blood clots, one that would pose a much smaller risk of causing internal bleeding."
In the August issue of Nature Biotechnology, Muzykantov and his colleagues demonstrate in animal models how the marriage of red blood cells and tPA has the potential of safely preventing thrombosis following surgery and as a therapeutic for victims of heart attack or stoke.
Greg Lester | University of Pennsylvania
Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy