Nanoparticles show promise for the localization of endometriosis lesions

The animal model study, published today in the journal Small, shows that iron oxide nanoparticles, injected intravenously, act as a contrast agent – they build up in the lesions, causing they are easier to see with advanced imaging such as MRI.

And when exposed to an alternating magnetic field, a non-invasive procedure, the temperature of the nanoparticles rises to more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit, high enough to remove damage through heat.

“Endometriosis is a systemic, debilitating disease, and the need for an effective, non-surgical method to remove lesions is urgent,” says Taratula. “We have invented targeted nanoparticles with special heating that allow the use of magnetic hyperthermia to safely and effectively remove endometriotic lesions. .”

The endometrium is the innermost layer of the uterus, and endometriosis occurs when endometrial-like tissue forms lesions outside the uterine cavity — often involving the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and fallopian tubes. pelvic lining tissue.

In rare cases, endometrial tissue can spread beyond the pelvis.

There is no cure for endometriosis, although surgical removal of the lesions may improve fertility. The downside, however, is that the lesions recur about half the time, and more than a quarter of patients undergoing surgery for endometriosis require three or more surgeries because it is difficult to find all of the diseased tissue. need to be removed.

“endometriosis is a non-malignant condition, but lesions sometimes perforate organs, leading to life-threatening conditions,” said Olena Taratula of the College of Pharmacy, who also collaborated on the study. said. “Pain therapy leads to infertility, and patients who want to improve their fertility often seek surgical removal of the lesions. And unfortunately, not only is the recurrence rate high, complications are associated with it. to surgery adds to the overall risk.”

Magnetic hyperthermia was not previously considered a potential means of eliminating endometriosis lesions because other magnetic nanoparticles have relatively low heating efficiency, she said. The nanoparticles can only get hot enough after being injected directly into diseased tissue, which is not a practical approach to endometriosis.

The collaboration also includes Youngrong Park of the College of Pharmacy, Abraham Moses, Peter Do and Ananiya Demessie who have overcome that problem by developing hexagonal nanoparticles with a heating efficiency six times higher than those of conventional counterparts. ordinary spherical nanoparticles when subjected to an alternating magnetic field.

Modifying the nanomolecules with a peptide – many amino acids linked in a chain – targets a cell receptor abundant in endometrioma cells, the scientists say. their accumulation in endometriotic lesions. Studies in mice implanted with endometrial tissue from monkeys demonstrated the nanoparticles’ ability to kill diseased cells after a magnetic hyperthermia.

“Furthermore, with the collaboration of Khashayar Farsad from OHSU’s Dotter Intervention Institute, we have shown the effectiveness of the nanoparticles to be similar to an MRI contrast agent,” said Oleh Taratula. “This feature of the nanoparticles could aid in the diagnosis of endometrial lesions by MRI before they are exposed to an external alternating magnetic field.”

Also part of the project team was Addie Luo of the Oregon National Primate Research Center; Cory Wyatt of the OHSU Department of Diagnostic Radiology; Leonardo Campos and Younes Jahangiri of the Dotter Intervention Institute; Hassan Albarqi of Najran University in Saudi Arabia; and Parinaz Ghanbari, who helped prepare the illustrated graphical abstract for the study.

Oleh and Olena Taratula both have an additional appointment with OHSU.

The National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Primate Research Center and OSU College of Pharmacy supported this study.

Source: Eurekalert

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