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Researchers use nanoparticles to deliver treatment for brain, spinal cord injuries
Date:10/1/2008

pinal cord injuries. The treated spinal cord cells showed improved physiological functioning.

In the second study, the researchers added both PEG and hydralazine, an antihypertension drug, to mesoporous silica nanoparticles. These nanoparticles have pores that can hold the drug, which is later delivered to the damaged cells. The hydralazine was added to fight off secondary damage to cells that occurs after the initial injury.

"When cells are injured, they produce natural toxins," Borgens said. "Acrolein is the most poisonous of these toxins. It's an industrial hazard for which hydralazine is an antidote."

Borgens and his team introduced acrolein into cells and then treated the cells with different combinations of hydralazine and/or PEG delivered by the mesoporous silica nanoparticles.

They found that the treatment restored disrupted cell function caused by acrolein.

The team concluded that the use of nanoparticles to deliver both PEG and hydralazine increased the effectiveness of earlier PEG-only treatment by controlling and concentrating release of the drug and the polymer, producing a dual treatment and prolonging the treatment's duration.

The goal of Borgens' research is to improve the quality of life of those who have suffered head or spinal cord injuries.

"All ambulances should have PEG on board," he said. "It can probably save thousands of people from more severe head and spinal damage."


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Contact: Judith Barra Austin
jbaustin@purdue.edu
765-494-2432
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert

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