January 21, 2014
An injection of biodegradable polymer can help a mouse recover from a heart attack, researchers at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., have discovered.
An injection of PLGA helps mice beat malicious monocytes.
Team principal Stephen Miller and his fellow researchers were looking to develop a therapy that would control 'inflammatory monocytes' – an immune cell that can damage the body after a heart attack.
The initial aim was to use microparticles of the biodegradable polymer PLGA to tag the cells – a process that moved the monocytes to the spleen, where they are destroyed.
Success was limited until a batch of the PLGA was accidentally negatively-charged, which triggered the desired cellular reaction.
The work was published in the journal Science Transitional Medicine.