Microparticles

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John N. Kheir, MD, Brian D. Polizzotti, PhD, and Francis X. McGowan, MD, of Boston Children’s Hospital, along with a diverse team of particle scientists, have developed a platform technology that has created the ability to administer oxygen intravenously by packaging oxygen into hollow microparticles which carry the oxygen payload until it diffuses into oxygen-deprived blood or tissues. The technology could revolutionize the practice of critical care medicine.  

In a recent study, the team has shown that an infusion of prototypical microparticles was able to increase survival and decrease the incidence of organ injury resulting from prolonged, acute asphyxia. If this technology is developed to the point of reaching use in humans, this means that the drug could be stored on code carts and ambulances across the world and used to rescue patients with life-threatening oxygen deprivation using an intravenous line. 

Another possible application of this technology is the treatment of patients who are suffering from cardiac arrest. The capability to combine acute bolus doses of oxygen in addition to standard resuscitation techniques, including CPR, may raise oxygen delivery to the brain and heart, and may improve survival from this devastating disease.

Currently, there is no way to oxygenate blood via injection. Contemporary methods for administering oxygen to the body all depend on lungs and airways that are open. This technology has the potential to deliver oxygen to deoxygenated tissues quickly and directly, providing the organ with essential metabolic energy.

Microparticles  These are microbubbles composed of a lipid monolayer shell (specific lipid name is DSPC) manufactured in corn syrup, a viscous fluid that limits particle size and improves stability.

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