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Nano-capsule treatment to beat blood clots

Blood-clot busting treatment 'promising'
Photo: Blood-clot busting treatment 'promising'
A drug-loaded nanocapsule which seeks out and removes life-threatening blood clots has been created in Australian laboratory

Australian researchers have used nanotechnology to create a blood clot-busting treatment for people suffering a heart attack or stroke.

The research, published in the journal Advanced Materials, is at a very early stage but is promising, says Professor Christoph Hagemeyer at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.

The researchers created a drug-loaded nanocapsule which is coated with an antibody that specifically targets activated platelets, the cells that form blood clots.

When the blood clot is located, the outer layer of the nanocapsule breaks open and the drug is released.

"We are effectively hijacking the blood clotting system to initiate the removal of the blockage in the blood vessel," Prof Hagemeyer said.
The targeted drug can potentially offer a safer alternative with fewer side effects for people suffering a heart attack or stroke.

The nanocapsule could be given much earlier, maybe in the ambulance, instead of the current drug being administered when people are admitted to hospital, he said.

Even then, many people can't use the current drug because of the high risk of serious bleeding.

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