Breathing in a nanoparticle spray could prevent heart damage

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00:41:21
January
21 2018

Breathing in a nanoparticle spray could prevent heart damage

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Some deep breaths could soon treat heart failure - the deterioration of the heart following a heart attack - thanks to an inhalable spray that has performed well in animal tests.

The drug delivered by the spray is contained in nanoparticles that are small enough to be absorbed through the air sacs of the lungs and into the bloodstream. From here, blood travels straight to the heart, where the nanoparticles should release the drug.

To test the drug, the researchers gave it to mice whose hearts were deliberately injured to mimic heart failure. Heart health was measured by examining the proportion of blood ejected by the left ventricle - a chamber of the heart - every heartbeat. Compared to healthy mice, this measure was 17 percentage points lower in the injured mice.

When ten of these mice were given the nanoparticle spray, this measure rose by an average of 15 percentage points. “It recovered almost completely,” says Michele Miragoli of the University of Parma in Italy. Control treatments did not have the same effect.

The nanoparticles are made from calcium phosphate, a natural mineral that is abundant in bone. The drug they contain is designed to repair calcium channels on the surface of heart cells, which normally help electricity maintain the normal beating of the heart.

Journal reference: Science Translational Medicine, DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan6205

An inhalable drug should get to the heart fast
Ella Maru studio
By Andy Coghlan

Source by UNIPR


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