"The beauty of this approach is that, unlike many other anti-inflammatory approaches, it takes advantage of nature's own design for preventing inflammation-induced damage, which does not compromise host defense and promotes tissue repair," said Dr. Tabas.
While the nanoparticles do spread to tissues throughout the body, they tend to concentrate in areas of inflammation. "In theory, this should allow physicians to use smaller-than-usual doses of medications and reduce unwanted side effects," said Dr. Fredman.
The team is currently designing nanoparticles for the treatment of atherosclerosis. Preliminary studies show that the nanoparticles are capable of targeting atherosclerotic plaques.
The authors have filed a patent for targeted polymeric inflammation-resolving nanoparticles to treat a variety of chronic inflammatory diseases, including atherosclerosis, autoimmune disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease.
The paper is titled, "Development and in vivo efficacy of targeted polymeric inflammation-resolving nanoparticles." The other contributors are Manikandan Subramanian (CUMC), Suresh Gadde (BWH), Aleksandar Pesic (BWH), Louis Cheung (BWH), Zahi Adel Fayad (Mount Sinai School of Medicine), and Robert Langer (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
This research was supported by a Program of Excellence in Nanotechnology Award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (HHSN268201000045), a grant from the National Institutes of Health (CA151884), and a David Koch-Prostate Cancer Foundation Award
In compliance with the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School institutional guidelines, Dr. Farokhzad discloses his financial interest in BIND Biosciences, Selecta Biosciences, and Blend Therapeutics, three biotechnology companies developing nanoparticle technologies for medical applications. BIND, Selecta and Blend did not support the research described above, and currently these companies have no rights to any technology or intellectual property developed as part of this research. BIND, Selecta, and Blend were founded by Drs. Farokhzad and Langer, who serve as members of the Boards of Directors and Scientific Advisory Boards.
Source: Columbia University Medical Center