Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have combined their revolutionary new drug-delivery system with a powerful antimicrobial agent to treat potentially deadly drug-resistant staph infections in mice. The study is published this month in the online version of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
Staphylococcus aureus bacteria cause the majority of superficial and invasive skin infections, resulting in more than 11 million outpatient/emergency room visits and 464,000 hospital admissions annually in the U.S. Staph are also notorious for infecting patients while they're in the hospital for other reasons. Staph infections can be deadly if the bacteria invade the bloodstream, heart, lungs, or urinary tract. As more strains of staph become resistant to common antibiotics, the need for new treatments has become urgent.
The drug-delivery system, developed by Einstein scientists, consists of biocompatible nanoparticles — each smaller than a grain of pollen — that can carry tiny payloads of various drugs or other medically useful substances and release them in a controlled and sustained manner. In this study, the nanoparticles were designed to transport and slowly release nitric oxide (NO) gas.
The nanoparticle technology was developed by Joel M. Friedman, M.D., Ph.D., professor of physiology & biophysics and of medicine at Einstein, and his son, Adam Friedman, M.D., an incoming chief resident in the division of dermatology at Einstein. The Friedmans were co-senior authors of the study along with Joshua D. Nosanchuck, M.D., associate professor in the departments of medicine and microbiology & immunology at Einstein.
NO is produced by many cells throughout the body and has several important biological functions including killing bacteria, healing wounds, and increasing blood flow by dilating blood vessels. But harnessing NO's therapeutic potential has proven difficult. "The problem is that nitric oxide is very short-lived and, until now, methods to deliver it to targeted tissues in the proper dosages have proven elusive," says Dr. Joel Friedman.
The Friedmans solved the problem of controlled and sustained NO delivery by developing a method of generating NO from sodium nitrite within a novel nanoparticle formulation. The nanoparticles are stable when dry and resemble a fine white powder when present in large amounts.
"As the particles take on water, they loosen up and the nitric oxide slowly trickles out, releasing specific amounts of the gas — which is exactly what happens in your body," says Dr. Friedman.
The present study involved collaboration between the Friedman laboratory and Dr. Nosanchuk's laboratory. Mice whose skin was infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, were treated topically with NO-containing nanoparticles or with nanoparticles devoid of NO. A third group received no treatment at all.
The NO-containing nanoparticles proved highly effective. After seven days, infected wounds in the group treated with the NO-containing nanoparticles were significantly improved and smaller than lesions in the two other groups. In addition, bacterial counts were significantly lower in the NO-treated group compared with the other groups, and the NO-treated group showed evidence of accelerated wound healing both visually and microscopically.
After further refining their nanoparticles, the Einstein team plans to test them in clinical trials against MRSA and other infections. Dr. Friedman is confident that the therapy will be safe for human use. "To date there have been no indication of toxicity in any of the numerous animal studies," he says.
In another potential use, Einstein scientists at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association earlier this week reported that nanoparticles carrying either NO or the drug tadalafil (Cialis) show promise as a topical treatment for erectile dysfunction.
The paper, "Antimicrobial and Healing Efficacy of Sustained Release Nitric Oxide Nanoparticles Against Staphylococcus Aureus Skin Infection," was published April 23, 2009, in the online version of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Lead authors of the study were Luis R. Martinez, Ph.D., an Einstein research associate, and George Han, an M.D-Ph.D. candidate at Einstein. Other Einstein contributors were Manju Chacko, Mircea Radu Mihu, Marc Jacobson, and Phil Gialanella.
Einstein has filed patent applications covering the nanoparticles and their pharmacological applications for delivering nitric oxide and other compounds.
About Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University is one of the nation's premier centers for research, medical education and clinical investigation. It is the home to some 2,000 faculty members, 750 M.D. students, 350 Ph.D. students (including 125 in combined M.D./Ph.D. programs) and 380 postdoctoral investigators. Last year, Einstein received more than $130 million in support from the NIH. This includes the funding of major research centers at Einstein in diabetes, cancer, liver disease, and AIDS. Other areas where the College of Medicine is concentrating its efforts include developmental brain research, neuroscience, cardiac disease, and initiatives to reduce and eliminate ethnic and racial health disparities. Through its extensive affiliation network involving five hospital centers in the Bronx, Manhattan and Long Island – which includes Montefiore Medical Center, The University Hospital and Academic Medical Center for Einstein – the College runs one of the largest post-graduate medical training program in the United States, offering approximately 150 residency programs to more than 2,500 physicians in training.
Deirdre Branley | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > Dermatology > Heart > MRSA > Medical Wellness > Staph > Staphylococcus > Staphylococcus aureus > Staphylococcus aureus bacteria > blood vessel > bloodstream > drug-delivery system > drug-resistant staph infections > grain of pollen > lungs > nitric oxide > resistant staph infections > urinary tract > wound healing
New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University
Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
22.11.2017 | Business and Finance
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy