Scientists Develop Alternative Treatment For Peripheral Artery Disease

Cristina Sabliov, LSU Biological and Agricultural Engineering professor, and Tammy Dugas, professor in the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, have joined forces to fight peripheral artery disease, or PAD, an ailment affecting 8 million Americans.

“Dr. Dugas discovered that these two drugs in combination worked well for that purpose,” Sabliov said. “She found the right potion, but she wanted the drugs released over time, and for that, she needed a smart delivery system.”

Knowing of Sabliov’s experience working on nano-delivery, Dugas asked her to create a nanoparticle containing both drugs to serve as that delivery system.

The way in which the drug would be administered is similar to angioplasty, where currently, doctors insert a drug-coated balloon, or DCB, attached to a catheter into the narrowed vessel and inflate the balloon to expand the blood vessel and improve blood flow. The balloon releases a drug called paclitaxel to slow the growth of cells on the vessel walls where applied. The problem with this is that paclitaxel, which is also used as a breast cancer chemotherapy agent due to its ability to slow the growth of cancer cells, can actually reduce the proper healing of the vessel. Stents that are typically applied within arteries of the heart are relatively ineffective in PAD and are sometimes associated with a risk of breakage, particularly when placed where the leg bends.

Read more at EurekAlert