New Potential Therapeutic Strategy for Severe Pain Based on Nanorods

New Potential Therapeutic Strategy for Severe Pain Based on Nanorods
Researchers at Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) in Japan, recently reported a novel technique with potential therapeutic relevance for the management of pain. The study was recently published in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition and is entitled “Thermosensitive Ion Channel Activation in Single Neuronal Cells by Using Surface-Engineered Plasmonic Nanoparticles”. Nanotechnology corresponds to the manipulation of matter at the molecular scale and it has allowed significant advances in medical diagnosis and treatment. The control of cellular functions using external photoresponsive nanomaterials has a huge potential for the development of cell-engineering technologies and therapies. Gold nanorods in particular, correspond to tiny rods that can absorb light in the near-infrared region generating heat when excited with infrared light; nanorods can also be used as light emitting devices. In the study, the team developed a technique on which gold nanorods are used to target pain receptors. Researchers coated the gold nanorods with proteins that are able to transport fat within the body – lipoproteins. These particular nanorods where able to efficiently bind to intact neuronal cell membranes containing a thermosensitive pain receptor called TRPV1 (transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1). When these coated nanorods were then exposed to near-infrared light, they heated up, activating
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