Boston, MA Following a tissue graft transplantsuch as that of the face, hand, arm or legit is standard for doctors to immediately give transplant recipients immunosuppressant drugs to prevent their body's immune system from rejecting and attacking the new body part. However, there are toxicities associated with delivering these drugs systemically, as well as side effects since suppressing the immune system can make a patient vulnerable to infection.
A global collaboration including researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH); Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in Bangalore, India; and University Hospital of Bern, Switzerland, have developed a way to deliver immunosupressant drugs locally and when prompted, with the use of a biomaterial that self-assembles into a hydrogel (jello-like) material. The novel system is able to deliver targeted, controlled release of medication where and when it is needed.
The study is published online August 13, 2014 in Science Translational Medicine.
"This new approach to delivering immunosuppressant therapy suggests that local delivery of the drug to the grafted tissue has benefits in reducing toxicity, as well as markedly improving therapeutic outcomes, and may lead to a paradigm shift in clinical immunosuppressive therapy in transplant surgery," said Jeff Karp, PhD, Division of Biomedical Engineering, BWH Department of Medicine, co-corresponding study author.
Added Robert Rieben, PhD, associate professor of Transplantation Immunology, Department of Clinical Research, University of Bern, co-corresponding study author: "Continuous release of the drugs irrespective of disease severity is a hallmark of existing drug delivery vehicles and could be a thing of the past. Inflammation-directed drug release offers 'judicious use of locally injected drug' that extends the release for months while eliminating systemic toxicity. "
The researchers devel
|Contact: Marjorie Montemayor-Quellenberg|
Brigham and Women's Hospital