In a new development, researchers at Penn Medicine have found a new, more effective method to prevent the body’s own protein from treating nanomedicines as foreign invaders. The method involves covering the nanoparticles with a coating to suppress the immune response that reduces the effectiveness of the therapy.
When unmodified nanoparticles are injected into the bloodstream, they are flooded by components of the immune system called complement proteins. The complement protein trigger an inflammatory response and prevent nanoparticles from getting to their therapeutic aim in the body.
In order to address this, the solution presented by Penn Medicine is the best thus far. The finding of the research is published in Advanced Materials.
Anatomically, nanoparticles are tiny capsules that are typically fabricated from proteins or fat-related molecules. Nanoparticles function as delivery vehicles for certain types of treatment or vaccine, mostly the ones that contain DNA or RNA. mRNA is the best known example of medicine delivered via nanoparticles against COVID-19.
The technology has turned out to be one of those that works just how it is and better than expected.
Clinically, medical treatments that are based on DNA or RNA generally require delivery systems to make them move in the bloodstream to the target organs. Benign viruses are often used as carriers or vectors of these therapies, however, nanoparticles are increasingly being considered as safer alternatives.
In fact, nanoparticles can also be attached with antibodies or other molecules that make them act precisely on targeted tissues.
Nonetheless, nanoparticle-based medicine is significantly limited because of the complement attack challenge. Complement proteins that circulate treat nanoparticles if they were bacteria to immediately coat nanoparticle surfaces, and making large white blood cells guzzle up the invaders.