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Study finds tiny, targeted drug particles may be effective in treating chronic diseases
Date:3/20/2013

Doses of medicine 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair prevent the tissue damage associated with atherosclerosis and other chronic diseases in mice. As part of a National Institutes of Health-sponsored project led by Zahi Fayad, PhD, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, researchers found that these nanomedicines are able to home specifically to damaged tissue to repair it. This study was published online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Inflammation is the body's natural defense mechanism against invading organisms and tissue injury. When under attack by a pathogen such as a virus, the body mounts an immune response that causes inflammation to clear the attacker so the body can return to a healthy state. Scientists believe that in chronic diseases like heart disease or diabetes, the body mounts a prolonged immune response resulting in chronic inflammation and tissue damage. Since the level of inflammation in these diseases is very high, targeted therapeutic solutions are required to help keep inflammation contained.

"Numerous studies have shown that inflammation is the foundation for many chronic diseases, and we need therapies that help resolve the tissue damage that results from that inflammation," said Dr. Fayad, who is the Director of the Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute and Professor of Radiology and Medicine at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. "Nanomedicine is the next frontier in successfully treating and preventing the progression of these conditions without the side effects that come from standard drug therapy."

Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), Columbia University Medical Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Mount Sinai developed a nanoparticle that mimics a protein that is critical to the resolution of inflammation in the body. The research team incorporated the nanoparticle into a molecule consisting of three parts
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Contact: Mount Sinai Press Office
newsmedia@mssm.edu
212-241-9200
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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