Posted: June 20, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Tears and a runny nose can be unpleasant on a windy day, but these mucosal secretions play a vital role in protecting the body from viruses and other malicious microbes. Unfortunately, mucus is also adept at washing away medication designed to treat infections and inflammation that occur when an infectious agent is successful in penetrating the body’s defenses Knowing that even nanoscale particles of medicine are apt to get caught up in layers of mucus and cleared before they can treat an ailment, a team of Johns Hopkins University scientists has developed specially coated nanoparticles that can penetrate deep into the body’s defenses and remain long enough kill harmful microbes. More specifically, the researchers broke down the herpes-fighting drug acyclovir into nanosize units coated with low–molecular weight polyethylene glycol (PEG) and applied them to female mice using a vaginal gel. (via Small Comfort: Nanomedicine Able to Penetrate Bodily Defenses: Scientific American)

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