by Sahil Rawal (’19)
Blood clots, which prevent oxygen from reaching tissues, are the primary cause of heart attacks and strokes, and consequently lead to an enormous number of deaths each year. However, quick removal of blood clots can help prevent this. Currently, enzymatic formulations are the most efficient ways to treat blood clots, but they have many side effects that could be harmful to patients.
In a recent study conducted by Andrey Drozdov from ITMO University, the effectiveness of magnetic nanoparticles made from a magnetite framework were tested in conjunction with the enzyme urokinase concerning the treatment blood clots. When injected, these nanoparticles were found to dissolve clots 4000 times more effectively than previous treatments. After the nanoparticles had completed dissolving the clot, they would travel through blood vessels and clean them. The nanoparticles safely enter the body through injection, and then leave the body through the liver. As a result, the side effects are extremely minima compared to the conventional treatments of today.
Clinical studies still have to be done, but the future looks promising for a new treatment for blood clots.
- S. Drozdov, et al., Leach-proof magnetic thrombolytic nanoparticles and coatings of enhanced activity. Scientific Reports 6, (2016). doi: 10.1038/srep28119.
- Image retrieved from: https://www.google.com/search?q=magnetic+nanoparticles&espv=2&biw=1440&bih=829&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwivqO7u3N_NAhUMdz4KHfctCLIQ_AUIBygC#tbm=isch&q=blood+clot&imgrc=S7FTzZRQqYAkrM%3A