Nanoparticles 1/800 the size of human hair can now treat muscular dystrophy


New methods applicable Anti-inflammatory nanoparticles Chronically inflamed muscles may be of great significance in the treatment of muscular dystrophy.

Nanoparticles are much smaller than the particles that can be detected by the human eye, with a diameter between 1 and 100 nanometers. A typical human hair is at least 80,000 nanometers thick. Medical researchers have learned how to use these particles to deliver micro-dose drugs to tumors, damaged organs, and inflamed tissues.

Research teams from two departments of Harvard University, Weiss Institute Bio-inspired engineering and John A. Paulson School The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences collaborated to develop promising therapies.

David Mooney, the founding faculty member of the Wyss Institute, led his team to focus on muscular dystrophy, “a group of genetic diseases that lead to the gradual loss of muscle mass and function in patients, as well as the incurable Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which affects the body’s All muscles, mainly boys, are particularly serious.”

This type of muscular dystrophy usually appears in early childhood. Healthy babies are fragile at birth and will continue to become stronger, but these patients will continue to be weak as they age.

Most children with this disease are forced to use wheelchairs in their teens, and they often die before the age of 30. There is no known cure.

A new nanoparticle therapy can help treat problems related to muscular dystrophy.
Alan Calvert/Unsplash

The research team reported: “Because chronic inflammation has a significant impact on the speed and severity of muscle degeneration, researchers are seeking different anti-inflammatory methods that can be applied to muscle weakening in DMD patients.”

Co-researcher Teresa Raimundo said that genetic mutations in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy will gradually worsen over time.

“Because of this genetic mutation, their muscles often become chronically inflamed,” Raimundo said. “Inflammation itself damages muscles and they gradually weaken. A large part of the progress is inflammation, so we wanted to design nanoparticles with anti-inflammatory effects.”

“We can inject the nanoparticles we developed into the muscles, which will relieve inflammation to a certain extent, or make the muscles weaker,” Raimundo said.

She said the idea has been extensively tested on animals in a laboratory environment before reaching human patients.

“We made these mice with muscular dystrophy, and we injected our nanoparticles. We saw that the inflammation in the muscles was reduced and the mice became four times stronger.”

Mooney and Raimondo’s team showed in 2018 that gold nanoparticles can carry a substance called cytokine, which is secreted by cells in the human immune system. After they were injected into mice with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, their muscle strength increased by 40%. This slows the progression of the disease.

Raimondo’s current research uses a similar approach, using an anti-inflammatory version of cytokine.

“I’m working on an animal model of IBS [Irritable Bowel Syndrome], But it does not develop like muscular dystrophy,” Raimundo said. “The common thread of all these diseases is inflammation. Of course, every disease has different characteristics, but we are happy to develop anti-inflammatory therapies like these nanoparticles. I think this is essential for finding a cure or slowing down progress, if they are genetic diseases like muscular dystrophy. “

“This method developed by Dave Mooney’s team… can be used as an alternative, strategically applied solution to treat patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, whose muscle mass and function loss cannot be effective in any other way. To stop it,” said Dr. Donald Ingerber, the founding director of Wyss In a report On the institute’s website.

“The same basic principle as NP- [nanoparticle-]Cytokine-based therapies may also treat various other muscle diseases where inflammation is the main force. “

Their research was published in the journal “Science Advances”.

This story is provided by Newsweek Zenger News.

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