A Nanoparticle Inhalant For Treating Heart Disease

Journal Reference: Science Translational Medicine

Summary: A team of researchers has developed a nanoparticle inhalant loaded with therapy drugs for treating people suffering from heart disease.

In recent years, nanoparticles have been developed to deliver drugs to specific parts of the body, allowing for direct contact therapy, which are typically administered orally or intravenously. A team of researchers from Italy and Germany to efficiently deliver the cardiac medicines has developed a nanoparticle inhalant loaded with therapy drugs for treating people suffering from heart disease. This approach allows for inhaling the nanoparticles, which allows them to reach the heart faster and to be taken up by cardiomyocytes, which results in improved heart function. The results demonstrated that inhalation of biocompatible tailored peptide nanocarriers represents a pioneering approach for the pharmacological treatment of heart failure. The study findings were published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Nanoparticle inhalant

Heart failure patients could someday receive treatments by inhaling drug-loaded nanoparticles. Credit: Ella Maru studio, scientific-illustrations.com

The research team created the nanoparticles out of material that closely resembles teeth and bone, resulting in calcium phosphate particles small enough to absorb into heart tissue, but big enough to carry medicines to where they are needed. The medicine in this instance was a drug that has been found to repair calcium channels on the surfaces of heart cells, a critical part of restoring normal cardiac electrical activity. The researchers tested the drug delivery system in pigs which have a respiratory system more similar to humans, specifically looking to see how quickly it would accumulate in heart tissue – they found it did so rapidly, as expected, offering an improvement over conventional methods. The team also reported that inhalation of the nanoparticles did not cause any toxicity in heart tissue.

More Information: Michele Miragoli et al, Inhalation of peptide-loaded nanoparticles improves heart failure, Science Translational Medicine (2018). DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan6205

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