If the drug we take to cure any illness reaches the affected part of the body efficiently, then that particular drug will have its optimum effect towards curing the illness.This is kind of common sense..... The main drawbacks of current drug delivery methods are
- many drugs’ potencies and therapeutic effects are limited or otherwise reduced because of the partial degradation that occurs before they reach a desired target in the body.
- Once ingested, time-release medications deliver treatment continuously, rather than providing relief of symptoms and protection from adverse events solely when necessary
Now the researchers from Lund University in Sweden have made a successful attempt in the drug delivery method. Which can be revolutionary if properly developed.They have developed magnetic nanoparticles that can be directed to metallic implants such as artificial knee joints, hip joints and stents in the coronary arteries.
A stent is a tiny tube placed into an artery, blood vessel, or other duct (such as one that carries urine) to hold the structure open.As usual this method is too has problems.depending on the type of stent inserted, the cells of the artery wall can grow and again obstruct the artery or a blood clot can develop in the stent.
To deal with such problems what researchers have now figured out is as below...
The nanoparticles were coated with a drug used to treat blood clots.(The particles could also carry other drugs, e.g. drugs to stop the cell growth that makes an artery become narrower.) When the stent is placed in a magnetic field, the magnetic force becomes sufficiently strong to attract the magnetic nanoparticles.Thus these magnetic nanoparticles carrying drugs will be directed exactly to the affected part of the body and hence cure the problem that is to be cured.
Associate Professor Maria Kempe, her brother and colleague Dr Henrik Kempe and members of staff at Skåne University Hospital have shown that the principle works in animal experiments.They were even successful in dissolving a blood clot in a stent in the heart of an animal.
"They could also carry antibiotics to treat an infection developed after insertion of an implant. We have developed polymer materials that can be loaded with antibiotics -- these could produce interesting results in this context," says Maria Kempe."It takes many years to develop a treatment method that can be used on patients. But the good initial results make us hopeful,"
Again one problem with this method is...For the method to work the patient therefore has to have an implant containing a magnetic metal.