Nano Drones can now be used to prevent heart attacks new discovery shows.
The Nanometer-sized “drones” that deliver a special type of healing molecule to fat deposits in arteries could become a new way to prevent heart attacks caused by atherosclerosis, according to a study in pre-clinical models by scientists at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Columbia University.
Although current treatments have reduced the number of deaths from atherosclerosis-related disease, the condition remains a dangerous health problem. Atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries is the leading killer of women and men in the U.S., accounting for one out of every four deaths.
In this study, targeted biodegradable nano “drones” that delivered a special type of drug to promote healing successfully restructured atherosclerotic plaques in mice to make them more stable.
This remodeling of the plaque environment is predicted in humans to block plaque rupture and thrombosis, thereby preventing heart attacks and strokes.
In this study, targeted nanomedicines made from polymeric building blocks that are used in numerous FDA-approved products to date, were nanoengineered to carry an anti-inflammatory drug payload in the form of a biomimetic peptide, a molecule that resembles naturally occurring building blocks of proteins already found in the body.
Furthermore, this peptide was derived from one of the body’s own natural inflammatory-resolving proteins, Annexin A1. The nanomedicines were designed to enable this biological therapeutic to be released at the target site, the atherosclerotic plaque, in a controlled manner.
In mouse models with advanced atherosclerosis, researchers administered nanomedicines and relevant controls. Following five weeks of treatment with the nanomedicines, damage to the arteries was significantly repaired and plaque was stabilized.
Specifically, researchers observed a reduction of reactive oxygen species; an increase in collagen, which strengthens the fibrous cap; and a reduction of the plaque necrotic core. These changes were not observed in comparison with the free peptide or empty nanoparticles.
Culled from Harvard Medical School Pub.