"This is a treatment that benefits entirely from targeted delivery or it tends not to have any significant therapeutic benefit," says Eckmann (see also Drug Delivery Systems).
"That's part of the challenge with this disorder: we have been uncertain to this point whether it was the medication or its delivery mechanism that wasn't working. Our results in mouse models show beyond a shadow of a doubt that the drugs can be effective, we just needed to improve delivery," says Eckmann. Acute lung injury develops as a result of direct or indirect trauma to the lungs. It compromises the hard-to-reach pores that enable gas exchange between the epithelial and endothelial barriers in the lungs.
During the past year the team was awarded an
The team used a nanogel, a specialized nanocarrier, for drug delivery made up of two molecules-dextran (a sugar) and lysozyme (a protein)-which mesh into a spaghetti-like ball that can fill with water to expand and contract. A specific lung-targeting molecule is attached to the carrier's surface and the steriod, dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory, is loaded into the nanogel, which then binds to lung endothelial cells lining the inside wall of the blood vessels where it rapidly delivers the drug.
"This molecule on the surface of the nanocarrier has specialized preference for the lung to enhance localized and targeted drug delivery," says Eckmann.
The team next plans to try the therapy in a cohort of patients at the Hospital of the
Keywords for this news article include: Drug Delivery Systems, Inflammation, Therapy,
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