London: Sceintists are developing a nano-sized drug particle for organ transplant patients to eliminate its harmful side-effects, reveals a study.
The drug cyclosporine (CsA) is widely used in transplant operations and helps prevent the patient`s body rejecting the organ, but it can also cause adverse reactions, especially damaging kidneys and liver.
The gap between a safe, effective and a toxic dose is extremely narrow, but the University of Strathclyde scientists have found a way of capturing CsA in very small amounts, the Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology reported.
The new system enables nanoparticles of the drug to be delivered orally so that the strength of the dose can be maintained, but at a level and in a form which spares kidneys from damage, said a university statement.
"CsA is very useful in transplants and treating conditions such as arthritis, lupus and some forms of diabetes, but we need to address the risks it can present to the kidney and liver," said Ravi Kumar, professor at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, who led the research.
Kumar did his PhD in drug delivery from IIT Roorkee, India in 2000, and was a post-doctoral fellow in University of Kentucky, US, from 2000-2002.
"The damage it can cause can be dealt with if it`s caught at an early stage but can be irreversible if unchecked. By entrapping CsA in nanoparticles, we aimed to match the maximum concentration of the most potent formulation of the drug in market," Kumar said.
"In tests, we were able to strike a balance between strength, efficacy and safety and were able to make a marked increase in the drug`s bioavailability - the level of the drug which becomes active in the system," said Kumar.
"We were also able to reduce the toxic effects on the kidneys by slow release of the nanoparticles, which brought the drug gradually to its maximum concentration," Kumar said.
"As well as its use in transplants, we hope to look into the effectiveness of this system with arthritis and address the debilitating condition for many people," concluded Kumar.