A mimic of 'good cholesterol' could someday treat cardiovascular and other diseases

Oct 30, 2013
A mimic of 'good cholesterol' could someday treat cardiovascular and other diseases

A new type of "good cholesterol," made in the lab, could one day deliver drugs to where they are needed in the body to treat disease or be used in medical imaging, according to scientists. Their report on the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) mimic, which is easy to make in large amounts, appears in the journal ACS Nano.

Zahi A. Fayad, Robert Langer, YongTae (Tony) Kim, Francois Fay, Willem Mulder and colleagues explain that HDL is a natural nanoparticle that carries throughout the body. Because it acts like a scavenger, collecting cholesterol and taking it to the liver for breakdown, HDL has emerged from being simply a marker for cardiovascular disease—the number one killer of men and women in America—to being a therapeutic agent. Clinical trials are testing its potential to combat atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaques in blood vessels that can lead to heart attacks or strokes. Scientists are also exploring new ways to use it for drug delivery. But HDL is complex and comes in many varieties. It takes several labor-intensive steps to get a uniform collection of these particles with current methods, which aren't easily scaled up for clinical applications. That's why Fayad and Langer's groups devised a new and improved method for making HDL-like particles.

The scientists showed that microfluidics—the same technology that enabled the invention of inkjet printers—allowed them to make material called µHDL that looks and acts like HDL in a single, rapid step. Not only does this material offer a possible, easy new way to treat , but the researchers also attached drug compounds, as well as dyes and nanocrystals used in (such as those used for MRIs and CT scans), to the particles.

Explore further: Gelatin nanoparticles could deliver drugs to the brain

More information: "Single Step Reconstitution of Multifunctional High-Density Lipoprotein-Derived Nanomaterials Using Microfluidics" ACS Nano, Article ASAP. DOI: 10.1021/nn4039063

Abstract
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is a natural nanoparticle that transports peripheral cholesterol to the liver. Reconstituted high-density lipoprotein (rHDL) exhibits antiatherothrombotic properties and is being considered as a natural treatment for cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, HDL nanoparticle platforms have been created for targeted delivery of therapeutic and diagnostic agents. The current methods for HDL reconstitution involve lengthy procedures that are challenging to scale up. A central need in the synthesis of rHDL, and multifunctional nanomaterials in general, is to establish large-scale production of reproducible and homogeneous batches in a simple and efficient fashion. Here, we present a large-scale microfluidics-based manufacturing method for single-step synthesis of HDL-mimicking nanomaterials (μHDL). μHDL is shown to have the same properties (e.g., size, morphology, bioactivity) as conventionally reconstituted HDL and native HDL. In addition, we were able to incorporate simvastatin (a hydrophobic drug) into μHDL, as well as gold, iron oxide, quantum dot nanocrystals or fluorophores to enable its detection by computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or fluorescence microscopy, respectively. Our approach may contribute to effective development and optimization of lipoprotein-based nanomaterials for medical imaging and drug delivery.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Low HDL-cholesterol—Not quantity, but quality

Apr 30, 2013

Many of the genes regulating the inflammation and immune response of the body are also associated with low HDL-cholesterol levels in the circulation, tells the recent study conducted at the University of ...

HDL cholesterol controls blood glucose

Oct 30, 2013

High density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), the so-called "good" cholesterol improves blood glucose levels by enhancing skeletal muscle function and reducing adiposity, scientists of the Helmholtz Zentrum München report ...

When it comes to the good cholesterol, fitness trumps weight

Oct 09, 2013

There's no question that high levels of good cholesterol—also known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL)—seem to be protective against heart disease. Rather than depositing fat into the blood vessels the way the "bad" cholesterol ...

Does good cholesterol increase breast cancer risk?

Oct 09, 2013

High levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as the "good cholesterol," are thought to protect against heart disease. However, what's good for one disease may not be good for another. High levels of HDL have ...

Recommended for you

'Mind the gap' between atomically thin materials

Dec 24, 2014

When it comes to engineering single-layer atomic structures, "minding the gap" will help researchers create artificial electronic materials one atomic layer at a time, according to a team of materials scientists. ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.