Making it Stick: Therapeutics Cling to a Blood Vessel

Making it Stick: Therapeutics Cling to a Blood Vessel

Collections: Image Award Winners, Nano-based Drugs

2011 Award Winner

Koch Institute at MIT

Christian Kastrup
Langer and Anderson Labs, Koch Institute
Epi-fluorescence Micrograph

Treatment of diseases in the high-traffic environment of blood vessels can be very difficult; drugs often flow right past sites of disease like tumors and fail to have any effect.

Christian Kastrup and Daniel Anderson have a unique strategy to overcome this problem: stickiness.   Here, they have loaded therapeutic nanoparticles (green) and microparticles (purple) into a sticky hydrogel and "painted" the hydrogel onto a blood vessel wall using a tiny catheter.  The stickiness of the hydrogel anchors the particles to the blood vessel wall so that they are not washed away by blood flow.  In a patient, such nanoparticles could be pre-loaded with therapies that would slowly release into a site of disease such as an atherosclerotic plaque or a tumor.


Christian Kastrup explains how and why he captured this image of therapeutics in a blood vessel.

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