Researchers at Washington State University (WSU), who were finding a way to fight an inflammatory response that causes organ failure better known as sepsis, show that stimuli-responsive nanoparticles can target infections to simultaneously inhibit the spread of bacteria and decrease inflammation. Such microscopic particles include abundant antibiotic and anti-inflammatory agents that are released when the particles encounter an infection in the body.
"This study not only proves a new drug delivery system but also may shift the current landscape in nanomedicine to a biology-driven design of nanotherapeutics. This has the potential to improve the therapies of many more infectious diseases," explains Zhenjia Wang, a pharmaceutical sciences professor.
The research study, published in the journal Advanced Materials, shows how WSU scientists developed a new nanoparticle that is coated with compounds that are commonly secreted by blood vessels in response to an infection. The nanoparticle is sensitive to infections sites allowing the bacterial enzymes to be triggered for the release of drugs.
Although with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories are used to mitigate the onset of sepsis, there remain issues with “old school use of these therapies”. "This study will allow chemists and materials engineers to design new drug formulations to treat many bacterial infections, such as TB infection," explains Can Yang Zhang, who is the leading author on the paper and a postdoctoral research associate in the Wang lab.
In medicine, nanoparticle technology is growing, however, it is a first time that a nanocarrier has been developed to deliver not one, but two drugs. Furthermore, nanocarrier specifically targets infection sites, so less medicine may be a needed to fix collateral damage to otherwise healthy tissues.