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Magnetic fields drive drug-loaded nanoparticles to reduce blood vessel blockages in an animal study
Date:4/19/2010

Scientists and engineers have used uniform magnetic fields to drive iron-bearing nanoparticles to metal stents in injured blood vessels, where the particles deliver a drug payload that successfully prevents blockages in those vessels. In this animal study, the novel technique achieved better results at a lower dose than conventional non-magnetic stent therapy.

Conducted in cell cultures and rats, the research is the latest in a series of studies at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia demonstrating the feasibility of magnetically guided nanoparticles as a new delivery platform for a variety of possible therapeutic cargos: DNA, cells and drugs. The findings may set the stage for a new medical tool, called vascular magnetic intervention.

"This can become a major platform technology for delivering drugs and other agents to specific sites where they can produce benefits in diseased or injured blood vessels," said study leader Robert J. Levy, M.D., the William J. Rashkind Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cardiology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online this week. Levy's group from Children's Hospital collaborated with engineers and scientists from Drexel University, Northeastern University and Duke University.

Levy's work introduces a new delivery system to an existing medical technologycatheter-deployed stents. Patients with heart disease commonly receive such stents, narrow metal scaffolds that widen a partly clogged blood vessel. These stents are often coated with antiproliferative drugs such as paclitaxel. Paclitaxel inhibits the accumulation of smooth muscle cells within the stent that cause an obstruction.

However, current drug-eluting stents have their limitations. They contain a fixed dose of medication, good for just one release. In a significant number of patients, reobstruction occurs. Levy's magnetically g
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Contact: John Ascenzi
Ascenzi@email.chop.edu
267-426-6055
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Source:Eurekalert  

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