Treating Macular Degeneration: Nanoparticle-Delivered Steroids

More

A potential treatment for various eye problems comes from researchers who have managed to attach steroids to tiny drug delivery vehicles

MacularSS-Post.jpg

A collaboration of researchers from Wayne State University, the Mayo Clinic, and Johns Hopkins Medicine has discovered a potential new treatment for macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. The investigators managed to attach steroids to dendrimers nanoparticles and show that the drugs only targeted the activated microglia, the damage-causing cells associated with neuroinflammation. The researchers published their article online in the journal Biomaterials.

Age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa are leading causes of blindness worldwide. Neuroinflammation plays a big role in both diseases. Activated microglia release substances that damage certain cells in the retina, which eventually can lead to vision loss.

Because steroids have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties, the researchers tried to deliver them precisely to the right target. Therefore they used polyamidoamine dendrimers as drug delivery vehicles, which are about 3-10 nm in size. The activated microglia in the degenerating retina turned out to eat the dendrimers selectively and retain them for at least a month. The drug is slowly released from the dendrimer, offering neuroprotection to the retina.

Here's a video of lead author Raymond Iezzi about the new delivery system:

Image: Tim Mainiero/Shutterstock.


This post also appears on medGadget, an Atlantic partner site.

Jump to comments
Presented by

medGadget is written by a group of MDs and biomedical engineers.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to a Seaside Town in Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where the Wild Things Go

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Adults Need Playtime Too

When was the last time you played your favorite childhood game?

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

Just In