02 October 2008

Saving the Brain and Spinal Cord With Silicon Nanoparticles + PEG + Hydralazine

Researchers at Purdue University have combined silicon nanoparticles with polyethylene glycol (PEG) and the antihypertensive drug hydralazine, seeking a way to preserve brain and spinal cord function after central nervous system injury and trauma.
A team led by Richard Borgens of the School of Veterinary Medicine's Center for Paralysis Research and Welden School of Biomedical Engineering coated silica nanoparticles with a polymer to target and repair injured guinea pig spinal cords. That research is being published in the October edition of the journal Small....The team then used the coated nanoparticles to deliver both the polymer and hydralazine to cells with secondary damage from a naturally produced toxin. That research was published in August by the journal Nanomedicine.

....In the first study, the researchers coated the nanoparticles with PEG to treat guinea pig spinal 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.

...."All ambulances should have PEG on board," he said. "It can probably save thousands of people from more severe head and spinal damage." _PO
As biomedical science develops better treatments for degenerative and infectious diseases, better means to prevent and treat cancer, and better ways to delay and reverse the aging process, more attention will turn to the treatment of traumatic injury. Brain injury is easier to prevent than to recuperate from. Even so, expect more and more uses of nanoscale treatment modalities combined with regenerative therapies in the natural human attempt to turn back the entropy of trauma, time, and life.

More on the use of PEG in head injury

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