Navigation Links
Nanoparticle-based battlefield pain treatment moves a step closer

Ann Arbor, Mich. University of Michigan scientists have developed a combination drug that promises a safer, more precise way for medics and fellow soldiers in battle situations to give a fallen soldier both morphine and a drug that limits morphine's dangerous side effects.

They use nanotechnology to devise ultra-small polymer particles capable of carrying the drugs into the body. The development of the combination drug makes possible a precise feedback system that can safely regulate release of the drugs aboard the nanoparticles.

The scientists at the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences report their results in the September issue of Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters.


Soldiers injured in combat typically receive morphine as soon as possible to relieve pain. Morphine, however, also depresses normal breathing and blood pressure, sometimes to life-threatening levels. So medics need to give a short-acting drug that aids normal respiration and heart beat, but in doses that still allow the morphine to relieve pain effectively. Today, achieving that balance is a challenge outside a hospital.

The combination drug that U-M scientists have developed promises to make balanced treatment possible even in combat zones, says James R. Baker, Jr., M.D., director of the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences (MNIMBS) and the study's senior author.

"This system could improve pain management for millions of patients with chronic illnesses," says Baker, Ruth Dow Doan Professor and allergy division chief in the U-M Department of Internal Medicine.

The long-range goal of the research, funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is to develop a practical method that medics or soldiers themselves could administer, perhaps using an auto-injector device.

Research details

U-M chemists screened several compounds to search for a successful "pro drug," a drug that can release or become another drug. In this case, they wanted one that could convert to Naloxone, a drug now used to counter morphine's effects, but would activate only when blood oxygen levels drop too low. In laboratory tests using human plasma, one pro drug successfully sensed oxygen levels and turned on or off as needed.

"When respiratory distress is too severe, that will trigger release of Naloxone, the antagonist (morphine-suppressing) drug. When the oxygen blood levels go up, that will stop the action of the antagonist drug and more morphine will be available," says Baohua Huang, Ph.D., the study's first author and a research investigator at the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute and in Internal Medicine.

What's next

MNIMBS scientists are proceeding with animal studies of the pro drug's effects and will develop a dendrimer that can carry the pro drug and morphine, using a dendrimer platform technology previously developed at U-M. They hope to advance to more animal and eventually human studies.


Contact: Anne Rueter
University of Michigan Health System

Related biology news :

1. Trial of new treatment for advanced melanoma shows rapid shrinking of tumors
2. Rethinking Alzheimers disease and its treatment targets
3. Diabetes drug kills cancer stem cells in combination treatment in mice
4. UCF discovery could open door to obesity, diabetes treatments
5. Mothers immune system may block fetal treatments for blood diseases
6. Protein handlers should be effective treatment target for cancer and Alzheimers
7. Experimental treatment halts hypoxic-ischemic brain injury in newborns
8. Discovery to aid in future treatments of third-world parasites
9. ISU researchers find possible treatment for spinal muscular atrophy
10. Promising new treatment for Alzheimers suggested based on Hebrew University research
11. New technique can fast-track better ionic liquids for biomass pre-treatments
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/11/2017)... BROOKLYN, N.Y. , April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... identical fingerprints, but researchers at the New York ... University College of Engineering have found that partial ... fingerprint-based security systems used in mobile phones and ... previously thought. The vulnerability lies in ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... April 6, 2017 Forecasts by ... Document Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, Government & ... Gas & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, ... Are you looking for a definitive report ... ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... April 5, 2017 Today HYPR Corp. ... the server component of the HYPR platform is officially ... the end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across ... has already secured over 15 million users across the ... of connected home product suites and physical access represent ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... today announced the three Winners and six Finalists of the 2017 Blavatnik Regional ... by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and administered by the New York Academy of ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... United States multicenter, prospective clinical study that demonstrates the accuracy of the ... of identifying clinically significant acute bacterial and viral respiratory tract infections by ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... AMRI, a ... biotechnology industries to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, will now be ... are being attributed to new regulatory requirements for all new drug products, including ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 11, 2017 , ... At its national board meeting in ... Sheikh, the co-founder, CEO and chief research scientist of Minnesota-based Advanced Space Technology ... in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame . ASTER Labs is a technology ...
Breaking Biology Technology: