Nanoparticles May Help Organs Get a Warmer Welcome

If organs transplant rejection sounds like a nightmare to you, then you’re not alone. You probably won’t even need statistics just to realize how bad it could even be for patients.who had been waiting all this time just for an available organ.

Many solutions have been analyzed, considered, and even tested so far to eradicate this otherwise natural occurrence. One of the more recent concepts takes nanoparticles into the equation, not as direct drug carriers, but as a mediator between your body and the freshly-transplanted organ.

Smarter in Many Tiny Ways Than One

Credit via Flickr by Global Panorama

Just last week, researchers at Yale University have announced the development of a new drug-delivery system for organ transplants that makes use nanomachines nanoparticles as a delivery medium. Traditionally, if the donor and recipient are not biologically related, immunosuppresants are introduced to the body to control an organ rejection. However, typical delivery methods only allow the effect of the suppressant to last for a few days. The transplanted organ itself usually require months before it even starts acclimate to the new body.

With the nanoparticle medium, the suppressant can be delivered to the system far more gradually, thus allowing its effect to say much longer. At the very least, the report indicates that they are designed to last as long as when the organ has already significantly “healed” within. Even if the organ is eventually rejected, the reaction is anticipated to be far milder, and thus more controllable.

According to the report, tests involving the use of the nanoparticle medium allowed the rejection response to be delayed by a full six weeks. This gave the transplanted organ (which was an artery on a mouse) more than enough time to heal and become part of the recipient’s body.

What Goes Alive, Comes Alive

Credit via Yale University

Transplant rejection is a natural phenomenon that is mainly caused by the body’s immune system. Basically, your body realizes that the new “member” of your body isn’t actually yours. Then your body’s defense system attempts to destroy and expel what it considers as a foreign body.

The extended suppression period is projected to help greatly improve organ transplantation success rates, and to decrease cases of (sometimes fatal) organ rejection. Also, since it can potentially be delivered on-site, the new method would no longer need to be administered through the recipient’s entire body.

After mice and arteries, the next step of the research is to move to kidney transplants, which is by far the most commonly done type of organ transplant. The researchers will attempt to modify the process to include the use of red blood cells, both as the carrier of the nanoparticles and to reinforce cell regeneration to the donated kidney.

Source: Yale University

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