Nanovesicles dissolve blood clots reducing side-effects
Blood clots, or thrombi, are comprised of aggregated platelets and red blood cells with a mesh of cross-linked fibrin protein that can obstruct or block the normal flow of blood in blood vessels. This can lead to strokes or heart attacks. Treatments available include a clot-dissolving drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). However, this therapy has limitations such as a short circulation time; and side effects such as excessive bleeding.
But now, researchers at Imperial College London have devised a clever solution to encapsulate and protect tPA in the blood stream in the form of a nanovesicle. This tPA-loaded nanovesicle enables tPA to specifically bind to thrombi under flow conditions and to efficiently trigger the release of tPA locally in a controlled manner.
Dr. Rongjun Chen of Imperial’s Department of Chemical Engineering said:
“tPA has a narrow window between the desired effect and side effects, so we have wrapped it in a package that extends this therapeutic window and minimizes the required dose. Our results are exciting, but animal and clinical studies are required for validation.”