Apr 28, 2009 by David Hecht weblog
Viagra pill

( -- A new generation of anti-impotency drugs based on nanoparticles might be coming quickly. Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York presenting at the 104'th Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association have discovered a new potential application for drug carrying nanoparticles as a topical treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED). This breakthrough should hopefully stimulate further work in this area.

The nanoparticles were used as a unique sustained release drug delivery mechanism. They are composed of a hybrid hydrogel/glass capsule containing nitric oxide. The nitric oxide (NO) is slowly released at therapeutic levels when applied to the cutaneous. NO aids in erection biology and helps to relax smooth muscle cells; it occurs naturally in the body to help expand blood vessels, helping them fill with blood.

The nanoparticles were applied topically to the skin of the penis of seven rats and the erectile response was measured by intracorporal pressure/blood pressure ratio. 71% of the rats tested with the nanoparticles experienced positive effects on the ICP/BC which led to visible erections, with an average response time of 65 minutes. The researchers claim that this topical treatment will likely have fewer side effects than Viagra, which is ingested orally, and known to cause headaches and facial flushing. They also claim that given further research, their nanoparticle treatment could work faster than Viagra.

Says Ira D. Sharlip, MD, "This is a very interesting concept which has potential to impact treatment of many conditions including erectile dysfunction if it can be translated from the animal lab to clinical practice. It remains to be seen whether the effect of the nanoparticle technology is a local or a systemic effect." The could act as a transport mechanism for erectogenic agents, and could help localize the therapeutic impact without the potential systemic consequences of an ingested pill. Dr. Sharlip also feels that this type of technology can be applied to other problems such as premature ejaculation, which occurs in 20-30% of men. With further research, I'm sure that a solution for this problem will come soon.

Hopefully, this research will translate well to clinical practice, and will give further validation to programs seeking to use nanotechnology for medical/health applications. For example, companies such as Tego Biosciences are hoping to use fullerenes as therapeutics, and there is numerous research into using carbon nanotubes as a cancer killer. Needless to say, given the age distribution amongst those at NIH, I'm sure this particular research will continue to be well funded.

© 2009

Explore further: Optically activating a cell signaling pathway using carbon nanotubes

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Viagra sales don't meet expectations

May 20, 2007

While sales of erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra have been steady since their release, their popularity has not met expectations, the Miami Herald said.

Male impotence drugs may deserve a second look in women

Apr 17, 2009

New studies indicate the three drugs used to treat male impotence also appear to work in females, albeit a little differently, and should give the scientific community pause to take a second look at their ...

Nano-sized technology has super-sized effect on tumors

Apr 03, 2008

Anyone facing chemotherapy would welcome an advance promising to dramatically reduce their dose of these often harsh drugs. Using nanotechnology, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in ...

Recommended for you

Designer's toolkit for dynamic DNA nanomachines

Mar 26, 2015

The latest DNA nanodevices created at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM)—including a robot with movable arms, a book that opens and closes, a switchable gear, and an actuator—may be intriguing ...

Simple method of binding pollutants in water

Mar 26, 2015

New types of membrane adsorbers remove unwanted particles from water and also, at the same time, dissolved substances such as the hormonally active bis-phenol A or toxic lead. To do this, researchers at the ...

Gold nanoparticles for targeted cancer treatment

Mar 26, 2015

The use of tiny drug-loaded nanocarriers for the safe, targeted delivery of drugs to designated parts of the body has received much press in recent years. Human trials of nanocarriers targeting pancreatic ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

4 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2009
Wow - we get nanotechnology and we use it for this. And then to add insult the only post is a thinly veiled spam ad. What hope is there?
5 / 5 (3) Apr 29, 2009
topically applied to rats -- hate to be the grad student doing that job --- hey so what did you do all day? -- man you know i rubbed this new viagra cream on rat d**ks. -- sounds like fun, i think i need another beer before we continue
1 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2009
so what

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.