IYSC Forum


Welcome to the International Youth Scientific Congress Forum

Nanoparticles, how can they reduce the symptoms of asthma?

Nanoparticles, how can they reduce the symptoms of asthma?
« on: 17 November , 2018, 11:00:20 am »
Hi everyone,
Last week, I met a friend and she asked me something about her asthma and nanotechnology.
And that was the start of my first topic in this forum!
This very short movie (only 5 minutes) explains the disease very clearly (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzfLDi-sL3w).
I searched for some experiments, and the one I will explain is, of course, the one I found the most interesting.
A team of researchers led by Stephen Miller searched for a solution to underlying causes of asthma: a chronic condition where the airways become inflamed and narrow, causing people with asthma to experience wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and coughing for periods of time.
Most treatments relieve the symptoms or try to build a tolerance over time. The team wanted to find a way to quickly develop a tolerance for the allergen that bypasses the immune system, thus avoiding adverse reactions.
The team’s works with proteins that are very similar to the allergens in nanoscale particles made of poly lactic-co-glycolic OR PLGA, a polymer often used in medical devices and for drug delivery. The PLGA-coating masks the allergen from the immune system. So the macrophages (white blood cells in the immune system that ingest foreign matter) take the particles without causing a reaction.
They have tested the process on lab mice. The first injected a protein that causes  a reaction with inflammation in the lungs, similar to asthma. After receiving injections of nanoparticles, which were well tolerated, the mice no longer reacted to the allergens!
But that wasn’t the only thing the team found, they saw the mice developing more immune system cells that react normal. Their immune system became stronger.
They are still testing this technique on other allergies. It seems like the universal treatment!

Maybe I found it interesting because it could help my best friend, but I hope you found it interesting as well!
Kind regards,
Jona Verstraelen, St Gummarus college, Belgium