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Home > Press > A mimic of ‘good cholesterol’ could someday treat cardiovascular and other diseases

Artery-clogging “bad cholesterol” could one day be fought with a new type of “good cholesterol” made in the lab.
Credit: iStock/Thinkstock
Artery-clogging “bad cholesterol” could one day be fought with a new type of “good cholesterol” made in the lab.

Credit: iStock/Thinkstock

Abstract:
A new type of "good cholesterol," made in the lab, could one day deliver drugs to where they are needed in the body to treat disease or be used in medical imaging, according to scientists. Their report on the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) mimic, which is easy to make in large amounts, appears in the journal ACS Nano.

A mimic of ‘good cholesterol’ could someday treat cardiovascular and other diseases

Washington, DC | Posted on October 30th, 2013

Zahi A. Fayad, Robert Langer, YongTae (Tony) Kim, Francois Fay, Willem Mulder and colleagues explain that HDL is a natural nanoparticle that carries cholesterol throughout the body. Because it acts like a scavenger, collecting cholesterol and taking it to the liver for breakdown, HDL has emerged from being simply a marker for cardiovascular disease — the number one killer of men and women in America — to being a therapeutic agent. Clinical trials are testing its potential to combat atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaques in blood vessels that can lead to heart attacks or strokes. Scientists are also exploring new ways to use it for drug delivery. But HDL is complex and comes in many varieties. It takes several labor-intensive steps to get a uniform collection of these particles with current methods, which aren't easily scaled up for clinical applications. That's why Fayad and Langer's groups devised a new and improved method for making HDL-like particles.

The scientists showed that microfluidics — the same technology that enabled the invention of inkjet printers — allowed them to make material called µHDL that looks and acts like HDL in a single, rapid step. Not only does this material offer a possible, easy new way to treat cardiovascular disease, but the researchers also attached drug compounds, as well as dyes and nanocrystals used in medical imaging (such as those used for MRIs and CT scans), to the particles.

The authors acknowledge funding from National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the American Heart Association.

####

About American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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Contacts:
Zahi A. Fayad, Ph.D.
Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
New York City, N.Y. 10029

or
Robert Langer, Sc.D.
David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Mass. 02139


General Inquiries: Michael Bernstein

202-872-6042

Science Inquiries: Katie Cottingham, Ph.D.

301-775-8455

Copyright © American Chemical Society

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