Nanoparticle-based battlefield pain treatment comes closer to reality

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Washington, Sep 25 (ANI): Moving a step closer towards nanoparticle-based battlefield pain treatment, scientists at the University of Michigan have developed a combination drug that promises a safer, more precise way for medics and fellow soldiers at warfronts to give a fallen soldier both morphine and a drug that could limits morphine's dangerous side effects.

The researchers at the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences (MNIMBS) have used nanotechnology to devise ultra-small polymer particles capable of carrying the drugs into the body.

The development of the combination drug makes possible a precise feedback system that can safely regulate release of the drugs aboard the nanoparticles.

Soldiers injured in combat typically receive morphine to relieve pain, but the drug takes depresses normal breathing and blood pressure, sometimes to life-threatening levels.

Thus, medics need to give a short-acting drug that aids normal respiration and heartbeat, but in doses that still allow the morphine to relieve pain effectively. And, achieving that balance is a challenge outside a hospital.

Study leader James R. Baker said that the combination drug developed by U-M scientists promises to make balanced treatment possible even in combat zones.

"This system could improve pain management for millions of patients with chronic illnesses," said Baker.

The long-range goal of the research is to develop a practical method that medics or soldiers themselves could administer, perhaps using an auto-injector device.

The study has been published in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters. (ANI)

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