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 Fish recognize their prey by electric colors
13.11.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht The dawn of a new era for genebanks - molecular characterisation of an entire genebank collection
13.11.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The dawn of a new era for genebanks - molecular characterisation of an entire genebank collection

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Fish recognize their prey by electric colors

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Ultrasound Connects

13.11.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>