Metallic nanomolecules could help treat fatal lung disease in the future, notes research – EPM Magazine

§ July 5th, 2017 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on Metallic nanomolecules could help treat fatal lung disease in the future, notes research – EPM Magazine

New research from Imperial College London, that has recently been published online, examined a novel type of nanoparticle called metal organic frameworks (MOF) as drug carriers for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

Published in Pulmonary Circulation, the research describes the first steps in the development of nanoparticles that can deliver drugs directly to the lungs. The MOFs, created in the laboratory by the researchers, are composed of iron and can expand to create pores within which drugs used to treat PAH can be stored and released where needed.

The hope is that using this approach will ultimately allow for high concentrations of drugs we already have to be delivered to only the vessels in the lung, and reduce side effects, explained Professor Jane Mitchell, from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial in a news release. For patients with PAH, it could mean we are able to turn it from a fatal condition, to a chronic manageable one.

When testing the MOFs, the team from Imperial found that the structures reduced inflammation and were not toxic to human lung cells and blood vessels in laboratory conditions. Further testing in rats, showed the MOFs were safe in the animal model over a two-week period with few side-effects a slight build-up of iron was seen in the liver.

One of the biggest limitations in nanomedicine is toxicity, some of the best nanomedicine structures do not make it past the initial stages of development as they kill cells, continued Mitchell. We made these prototype MOFs, and have shown they were not toxic to a whole range of human lung cells.

The aim is to develop the metallic structures as a drug delivery method where the framework can hold onto the drug and release it under specific conditions, such as a change in pH, temperature or using magnets external to the body to draw the MOFs to the target area. Next steps for this research is to discover the ideal way to get the tiny structures loaded with drugs and delivered to the lungs effectively.

In this study we have proved the principle that this type of carrier has the potential to be loaded with a drug and targeted to the lung, Mitchell concluded. This is fundamental research and while this particular MOF might not be the one that makes it to a drug to treat PAH, our work opens up the idea that this disease should be considered with an increased research effort for targeted drug delivery.

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Metallic nanomolecules could help treat fatal lung disease in the future, notes research – EPM Magazine

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