Australian scientists have created nanocapsules to hunt down and blow up blood clots

Miguel Villagran/Getty Images

Australian researchers have created a safe way to seek out and remove life threatening blood clots using nanotechnology.

They used a drug-loaded nanocapsule coated with an antibody which targets activated platelets, the cells which form blood clots.

Once it reaches the blood clot, the nanocapsule releases a clot-busting drug.

The research is published in the leading journal Advanced Materials.

Professor Christoph Hagemeyer, head of the Vascular Biotechnology Laboratory at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, says the latest step offers a vast difference between current treatments for blood clots.

“We’ve created a nanocapsule that contains a clot-busting drug,” he says. “The drug loaded nanocapsule is coated with an antibody that specifically targets activated platelets, the cells that form blood clots.”

This targeted drug offers a safer alternative with fewer side effects for people suffering a heart attack or stroke.

And the life saving treatment could be administered by paramedics without the need for specialised equipment.

About half of the people who need a clot-busting drug can’t use the current treatments because the risk of serious bleeding is too high.

The research was funded by the National Heart Foundation of Australia, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Australian Research Council (ARC).

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