Sticky nanoparticles fight heart disease (w/ video)

Feb 18, 2014

Clemson University researchers have developed nanoparticles that can deliver drugs targeting damaged arteries, a non-invasive method to fight heart disease.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of the standard ways to treat clogged and damaged currently is to implant vascular stents, which hold the vessels open and release such drugs as paclitaxel.

The researchers, led by Clemson bioengineering professor Naren Vyavahare, hope their advanced could be used alongside stents or in lieu of them.

"Healthy arteries have elastic fibers that provide elasticity. They are like rubber bands in the tissue that allow expansion and recoil during blood flow," Vyavahare said. "In most cardiovascular diseases, in arteries get damaged, creating hooks that can be used to target drugs."

The nanoparticles, coated with a sticky protein, latch onto damaged arteries and can deliver a drug to the site in slow release fashion. These nanoparticles can be engineered to deliver an array of drugs to the damaged or clogged artery, a common example being paclitaxel, which inhibits cell division and helps prevent growth of scar tissue that can clog arteries. These particles also have unique surfaces that allow prolonged circulation time, providing more opportunities for these particles to accumulate at the damage site.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

"We developed nanoparticles that have antibodies on the surface that attach to diseased sites like Velcro," said Vyavahare. "Interestingly, these newly created nanoparticles only accumulate at the damaged artery, not in the healthy arteries, enabling site-specific drug delivery."

"These nanoparticles can be delivered intravenously to target injured areas and can administer drugs over longer periods of time, thus avoiding repeated surgical interventions at the disease site," said Aditi Sinha, a Clemson graduate student and lead author on a paper soon to be published in journal Nanomedicine: Nanotechnolgy, Biology and Medicine.

The work is a promising step toward new treatments for cardiovascular and other diseases. The research team is testing the nanoparticles to determine the most effective drug dosage for vascular tissue repair. This technology can have variety of applications in other diseases, such as chronic , Marfan syndrome and elastic fiber-related disorders, such as aortic aneurysms.

Explore further: Stents may not help treat clogged kidney arteries

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Evaluating a new way to open clogged arteries

May 21, 2013

Over the past few decades, scientists have developed many devices that can reopen clogged arteries, including angioplasty balloons and metallic stents. While generally effective, each of these treatments ...

Recommended for you

Innovative strategy to facilitate organ repair

8 hours ago

A significant breakthrough could revolutionize surgical practice and regenerative medicine. A team led by Ludwik Leibler from the Laboratoire Matière Molle et Chimie (CNRS/ESPCI Paris Tech) and Didier Letourneur ...

Physicists create new nanoparticle for cancer therapy

Apr 16, 2014

A University of Texas at Arlington physicist working to create a luminescent nanoparticle to use in security-related radiation detection may have instead happened upon an advance in photodynamic cancer therapy.

User comments : 0

More news stories

'Exotic' material is like a switch when super thin

(Phys.org) —Ever-shrinking electronic devices could get down to atomic dimensions with the help of transition metal oxides, a class of materials that seems to have it all: superconductivity, magnetoresistance ...

Innovative strategy to facilitate organ repair

A significant breakthrough could revolutionize surgical practice and regenerative medicine. A team led by Ludwik Leibler from the Laboratoire Matière Molle et Chimie (CNRS/ESPCI Paris Tech) and Didier Letourneur ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...