Think of it as Liquid-Plumr for the circulatory system. Researchers have designed a clump of tiny particles that rides the current of the bloodstream, seeks out life-threatening blood clots, and obliterates them. The approach works in mice and could soon move on to human trials.
The researchers tested the approach on mice suffering from blood clots. After they injected the particles into the animals, the particles coated in tPA were able to reopen the blocked vessels quickly, despite harboring low dosages of medicine, the team reports online today in Science. None of the mice had uncontrolled bleeding, and because the particles are biodegradable, they are eventually broken down by the body.