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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.”

Study Overview

How does the nanovesicle work?