A mimic of 'good cholesterol' could someday treat cardiovascular and other diseases
A new type of "good cholesterol," made in the lab, could one day deliver drugs to where they are needed in the body to treat disease or be used in medical imaging, according to scientists. Their report on the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) mimic, which is easy to make in large amounts, appears in the journal ACS Nano. Zahi A. Fayad, Robert Langer, YongTae (Tony) Kim, Francois Fay, Willem Mulder and colleagues explain that HDL is a natural nanoparticle that carries cholesterol throughout the body. Because it acts like a scavenger, collecting cholesterol and taking it to the liver for breakdown, HDL has emerged from being simply a marker for cardiovascular disease -- the number one killer of men and women in America -- to being a therapeutic agent. Clinical trials are testing its potential to combat atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaques in blood vessels that can lead to heart attacks or strokes. Scientists are also exploring new ways to use it for drug delivery. But HDL is complex and comes in many varieties. It takes several labor-intensive steps to get a uniform collection of these particles with current methods, which aren't easily scaled up for clinical applications. That's why Fayad and Langer's groups devised a new and improved method for making HDL-like particles.
The scientists showed that microfluidics -- the same technology that enabled the invention of inkjet printers -- allowed them to make material called µHDL that looks and acts like HDL in a single, rapid step. Not only does this material offer a possible, easy new way to treat cardiovascular disease, but the researchers also attached drug compounds, as well as dyes and nanocrystals used in medical imaging (such as those used for MRIs and CT scans), to the particles.
Source: American Chemical Society
- A mimic of 'good cholesterol' could treat cardiovascular, other diseasesfrom Science DailyWed, 30 Oct 2013, 16:00:27 EDT
- A mimic of 'good cholesterol' could someday treat cardiovascular and other diseasesfrom PhysorgWed, 30 Oct 2013, 11:00:42 EDT
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- How a plant beckons the bacteria that will do it harm
- Astronomical forensics uncover planetary disks in NASA's Hubble archive
- Small business owners not always worried about being treated fairly, researcher finds
- Microscopic organism plays a big role in ocean carbon cycling, Scripps scientists discover
- New ultrasound device may add in detecting risk for heart attack, stroke
- Criticism of violent video games has decreased as technology has improved, gamers age
- Hummingbirds' 22-million-year-old history of remarkable change is far from complete
- Research clarifies health costs of air pollution from agriculture
- Ancient 'spider' images reveal eye-opening secrets
- New research finds 'geologic clock' that helps determine moon's age