Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery – Heart Disease

Researchers have developed a nanoparticle that uses a protein to attach to damaged regions of arteries. This allows drugs to be applied directly to the impaired portion of the artery. Lab studies in mice have revealed that using nanoparticles to target the delivery of the clot busting drug tPA can reduce the dosage of tPA needed, which may reduce possible side affects, such as internal bleeding.  The clot busting drug was involved to a cluster of nanoparticles that break apart in regions of turbulent blood flow, like that found when a blood flow is restricted by a clot.

Researchers are developing polymer nanoparticles that home in on inflamed tissue such as arterial plaque and dissolve, releasing drugs, in the presence of hydrogen peroxide that is present in the inflamed tissue. Nanoparticles containing iron oxide that allows the nanoparticles to  be directed, by a magnetic field, to stents. This could permit drugs to be delivered directly to stents placed in arteries.

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