Ultrasound, Nanodroplets to Be Used in Eliminating Difficult Blood Clots

January 19, 2021 11:35:45

Every year, anywhere from 300,000 to 600,000 individuals are affected by deep vein thromboses in the United States. One of the major obstacles of vascular surgery has been penetrating extensive and compacted blood clots. This is mainly because the retracted clots are of low porosity and high density. While there are tools such as catheter-based devices that have been created for that specific purpose and are being used today, the challenge still presents itself in patients with plaques that are too difficult to penetrate, even for the best devices in existence.

However, there may be an alternative as researchers from the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University have created another way to strike blood clots. This method involves the use of an ultrasound catheter, which is used to activate nanodroplets.

These nanodroplets are produced from lipid spheres that are filled up with low-boiling point liquid PFCs (perfluorocarbons). When the perfluorocarbons are unleashed from the lipid spheres, their small size permits them to fit into the smallest of cracks in a clot, which enhances drug delivery. Once inside the clot, waves from an ultrasound prompt them to turn into boiling and expanding microbubbles. More ultrasound waves make the expanding microbubbles vibrate, eventually destroying the mass of blood clots.

Clots that have not broken apart fully once this process is complete still have resulting severe structural deterioration, which makes it easier for other therapies such as clot busters to get the job done.

The corresponding author of the study, Xiaoning Jiang, explained that researchers discovered that using drug treatment, ultrasound and nanodroplets together yieled the most successful result, as the combination reduced the dimensions of the clot by 40%, plus or minus 9%. Using ultrasound and nanodroplets alone reduced the clot size by 30%, plus or minus 8%, while a treatment that involved the use of an ultrasound, microbubbles and drugs decreased the size of the clot  by 17%, plus or minus 9%. Jiang added that these tests had been carried out in similar half-an-hour treatment periods.

While the new method has undergone in vitro testing, it has not yet been tested in clinical trials. However, many are hopeful as the rate that the device may soon be introduced in catheterization laboratories across the globe.

This study was reported in “Nature Microsystems and Nanoengineering.”

Still on the subject of improved ways to treat patients, RYAH Group Inc. is taking the lead in helping the world to switch to data analytics as well as remote health solutions while treating patients. A clear example of this is the company’s smart inhaler.

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