Researchers mimic body's own healing potential to create personalised therapies for inflammation

Apr 04, 2011

Scientists at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry and Harvard Medical School, Boston have found a way of mimicking the body's natural mechanism of fighting inflammation. During inflammation cells release very small particles termed 'microparticles' that retain features of their parent cell. The scientists discovered that certain microparticles were beneficial to health, and that these microparticles contained anti-inflammatory lipids, which help terminate inflammation and return the body to its normal balance.

The discovery, featured online in the current edition of the , paves the way for new personalized treatments to target uncontrolled that need not rely on synthetic biomaterials, therefore reducing potential toxicity.

Inflammation of joints and muscles is implicated in many human diseases including cardiovascular disease, arthritis and temporomandibular disorders and its treatment remains an unmet medical need.

Led by Dr Lucy V Norling (a Foundation Fellow of the Arthritis Research UK), researchers from the William Harvey Research Institute at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry and Harvard Medical School (laboratory of Professor CN Serhan) investigated the properties of microparticles during inflammatory episodes showing them to contain beneficial lipids (fat molecules) that are precursors for compounds that stimulate the resolution of an inflammatory episode. The researchers then mimicked this natural communication process to make a new personalized delivery system for anti-inflammatory therapeutics based on natural human instead of synthetic biomaterials, which bring adverse immunotoxic effects.

The many benefits of these humanized particles, coined 'nano-proresolving medicines' are that they can be loaded with anti-inflammatories (e.g. resolvins or other small molecules) to enhance their protective bioactions.

Dr Norling said: "These results uncover a novel way of targeting anti-inflammatories therapeutics to the site of inflammation using a natural delivery system. I think this new mode of delivery could have application for numerous inflammatory diseases including those of the joint such as arthritis and temporomandibular disorders. "

Explore further: Diet affects men's and women's gut microbes differently

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Anti-inflammatory effect of 'rotten eggs' gas

May 21, 2009

Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter have synthesized a new molecule which releases hydrogen sulfide (H2S) - the gas that gives rotten eggs their characteristic smell and which has recently been found to b ...

Failure to bridle inflammation spurs atherosclerosis

Jun 18, 2008

When a person develops a sore or a boil, it erupts, drawing to it immune system cells that fight the infection. Then it resolves and flattens into the skin, often leaving behind a mark or a scar.

Recommended for you

Diet affects men's and women's gut microbes differently

8 hours ago

The microbes living in the guts of males and females react differently to diet, even when the diets are identical, according to a study by scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and six other institutions published ...

Researchers explore what happens when heart cells fail

9 hours ago

Through a grant from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation, Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Naomi Chesler will embark upon a new collaborative research project to better understand ...

Stem cells from nerves form teeth

11 hours ago

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered that stem cells inside the soft tissues of the tooth come from an unexpected source, namely nerves. These findings are now being published in the journal Nature and co ...

User comments : 0