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Israeli, U.S. scientists develop tiny nano-taxis for delivering drugs to brain

na JERUSALEM, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Israeli and American scientists have created an innovative "nano-taxis" capable of shuttling med...

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JERUSALEM, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Israeli and American scientists have created an innovative "nano-taxis" capable of shuttling medicine directly to nerve cells in the brain, the northern Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) said on Tuesday.

The new method paves the way for treatment of multiple neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, as well as traumatic brain injuries, the Technion added.

The method was developed in a study led by researchers from the Technion and the Houston Methodist Hospital, and published in the journal Advanced Science.

They thus developed nature-mimicking nano-vesicles, which function as "vehicles" capable of carrying medicine and target specific nerve cells (neurons).

These nano-vesicles are similar in their basic structure to human cells but much smaller, about one millionth of a hair's width in diameter.

The targeting of these nano-vesicles is achieved by incorporating specific cell membrane-derived proteins on their surface, the researchers explained.

This way, they are recognized and taken in by the correct cells.

Several neurodegenerative disorders might be treated if the correct medicine or genetic cargo, like mRNA, could be delivered to the brain, the team noted.

In case of traumatic brain injuries, caused by a car accident or during sports, as examples, delivery of anti-inflammatory drugs to the brain could prevent fatalities and long-term disabilities, they added. 

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Local Glob: Israeli, U.S. scientists develop tiny nano-taxis for delivering drugs to brain
Israeli, U.S. scientists develop tiny nano-taxis for delivering drugs to brain
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