Inflammation is the body's natural defense mechanism against invading organisms and tissue injury. In acute inflammation, the pathogen or inflammatory mediators are cleared away and homeostasis is reached, however in chronic inflammatory states, this resolving response is impaired, leading to chronic inflammation and tissue damage. It is now widely believed that an impaired resolution of inflammation is a major contributing factor to the progression of a number of devastating diseases such as atherosclerosis, arthritis, and neurodegenerative diseases, in addition to cancer. Since the level of inflammation in these diseases is very hightargeted therapeutic solutions are required to help keep inflammation contained.
A new study from researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), Columbia University Medical Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology presents the development of tiny nanomedicines in the sub 100 nm range (100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair strand) that are capable of encapsulating and releasing an inflammation-resolving peptide drug. The authors showed that these nanoparticles are potent pro-resolving nanomedicines, capable of selectively homing to sites of tissue injury in mice, and releasing their therapeutic payload in a controlled manner over time. Uniquely, these nanoparticles are designed to target the extracellular microenvironment of inflamed tissues. The particles then slowly release their potent inflammation-resolving payload such that it can diffuse through the inflamed tissue. There the drug binds to receptors on the plasma membrane of activated white blood cells and causes them to become more quiescent.
This study will be electronically published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of March 18, 2013.
"The beauty of this approach is that it takes advantage of nature's own design for preventing inflam
|Contact: Marjorie Montemayor-Quellenberg|
Brigham and Women's Hospital