ANCHOR LEAD: NEW TECHNOLOGY MAY ENABLE DRUGS TO SLIP THROUGH STICKY MUCUS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Any of your body’s surfaces not covered by skin are awash in mucus, which as we all know, can become thick and colorful when infections are present. For people with cystic fibrosis, thick mucus is a daily fact of life, as are attempts to remove it. Now researchers at Johns Hopkins led by Justin Hanes have shown that extremely small biodegradable particles, called nanoparticles, can slip through this mucus and may one day be used to treat or even cure the disease.
HANES: We showed that not only could the particles go through normal human mucus but that they can go through mucus expectorated by patients with CF. so you have there really a spectrum, from normal everyday mucus to the most viscous mucus and we’ve shown that we can go through that entire spectrum. So it think that’s an important aspect to this paper. :22
Hanes says the technology may also be used to deliver drugs locally in all sorts of diseases and conditions. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.