Nanotechnology is a branch of science which deals with materials and structures on a nanoscale level. This technology has brought hope in the treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD)-one of life threats in the world.
Computer Aided Design Developments
The causative agents of CAD involve many cellular disease processes and biological factors that can be mitigated through therapeutic methods aided by nanotechnology. Using this technology to treat heart-related ailments has brought possibilities like treating defective heart valves, treating arterial plaques and helping researchers on better medicines.
One of the breakthroughs in this field of medicine is finding a way to deliver cardiac stem cells to damaged heart tissue. Scientists attach nanovesicles which are attracted to injured stem cells in order to increase the number of stem cells delivered to the injured tissue.
In the University of Santa Barbara, scientists have devised a nanoparticle that can deliver a drug to a plaque at the wall of an artery. This development in nanotechnology is achieved by attaching a protein known as a peptide to a nanoparticle which then attaches itself to the plaque’s surface.
Researchers plan to use this method to put imaging drugs and particles to determine the amount of existing arterial plaques and to treat it as well. The treatment of the patch is crucial because it is a significant cause of cardiovascular disease.
Drug Developments and Breakthroughs
Harvard Medical School and MIT did research and identified a new process to attach a different peptide which is a nanoparticle carrying drug. The peptide attaches itself to a membrane exposed to damaged artery walls, thereby allowing the nanoparticle to release the drug to the damaged part.
This drug helps in preventing the growth of scar tissue that can result in clogging of the arteries. The particles can be designed to issue the drug for several days.
This technology is among the first sure methods that can be used to deliver a drug to an injured vascular tissue correctly. The particles are specifically targeted to a structure called basement structure that lines the arterial walls and is exposed when those walls are damaged.
In the University of South Carolina, experts are combining gold nanoparticles with collagen protein. If there are wrong levels of collagen in the heart valves, this may affect the functioning of the valves.
High quantities of the collagen make the valves to be stiff while low levels make them floppy. Nanotechnology is used by combining the gold nanoparticles with collagens to change the mechanical properties of the valves, providing the possibility to repair malfunctioning heart valves with no need for surgery.
The implications of the venture go way beyond repairing valves; researchers are set to use the same principle in nanomaterials to heal wounds and cancer treatment. It would be achieved by excluding the tumor and keep the cancer cells from spreading.
Imaging and Detection Advancements
At imperial college in London, scientists are using a scanning ion conductance microscope (SICM) which is a device that helps in producing improved images of live muscles of the heart than it was previously possible. The experts use a nanopipet to inject drugs that stimulate beta muscles in specific portions of the cells.
The beta muscles cause the heart to contract. The method of activating beta muscles aids researchers in determining the differences between healthy and faulty heart muscle cells an endeavor that can lead to advancements in the use of drugs called beta blockers and design of future treatments.
The named beta-blockers slow down the development of heart failure which is an excellent improvement in the field of therapeutic approach to treating abnormal heart rhythms. The beta blockers prevent adrenaline from affecting the cells of the heart by targeting beta receptors.
White blood cells are tasked with protecting the body from foreign invaders and infectious diseases. However, when these cells attack the LDL molecules, they cause plaque deposits on the walls of the artery.
Rutgers’ researchers have invented a nanoparticle named nanolipoblocker that is designed to bind itself to the white blood cells and prevent them from attacking the LDL cholesterol molecules. This is the latest technique in the fight against cardiovascular disease.
Experts at the State University of New Jersey proposed to devise a way to rescue clogged arteries via attacking how harmful cholesterol causes inflammation and buildup at specific blood vessels. The approach to treat the disease thwarts a biological process that is hugely beneficial and necessary.
Studies in various species of mice have revealed that using nanoparticles to target delivery of clot tPA drug can drastically reduce the needed dosage for the drug leading to reduced side effects like internal bleeding. The drug preventing clotting was attached to a group of nanoparticles that break the turbulent flow of blood especially the one formed by the restricted flow of blood due to a clot.
Nanoparticles targeting proteins common to blood clots have been invented to deliver bismuth –a chemical element- to unstable plaques and clots in the bloodstream. This chemical element enhances CAT scan images, and the technique has been shown in labs in testing clots in mice.
This idea will be used by researchers to locate clots and unstable plaque that could break and block arteries. The technique will be a significant boost in curing heart-related diseases once fully implemented.
A research done in Manchester’s School of Materials is geared to developing a nanoscale sensor which is coated in DNA. This DNA binds to a chemical named myoglobin that increases in blood plasma in a heart attack and can be detected and measured by an electric test.
This technique is used in many hospitals to determine whether a patient has had a heart attack. Experts state that this advancement in the detection of heart attack will improve the rate of survival after a heart attack.
Another way that has been introduced by scientists is the use of nanotubes to alter adult stem cells into a type that will aid in restoring injured heart tissues. The method has been adopted since a patient’s heart is incapable of initiating a self-repair process.
Nanotechnology can be seen as the answer to the battle against cardiovascular diseases. The advancements in the medical world and research institutes have brought hope to many patients who are suffering from different heart ailments.