Disguised Nanoparticles Slip Past Body’s Immune Defense
September 16, 2015 | by Chris Kalaboukis
Nanotechnology is changing the way scientists look at sub particles, and the medical experts look at the body. Now researchers say that they have found a way to smuggle drug-carrying nanoparticles past the body’s immune system, by cloaking them to resemble real human blood cells. The use of hybrid nanoparticles that combine both man-made and human cells is just starting to get some attention, with opinions ranging from some doubt to huge support:
Man-made nanoparticles — created from plastic or metal — can be designed to deliver a cargo of drugs to specific areas of the body. But they are often attacked and swallowed up by the body’s natural defence system, which sees them as foreign invaders.
The disguised particles are not only able to evade detection, but also exploit the natural properties of platelets to treat bacterial infections and to repair damaged blood vessels more effectively than conventional ways of delivering drugs, report the team. The researchers were led by Liangfang Zhang at the University of California, San Diego, and published their work in Nature on September 16.