Home E-Weekly April 22, 2014

Nanoparticles Plus Magnets May Add Up to Stronger Blocks

Published: April 21, 2014

Magnets and nanoparticles may someday make it possible to deliver more potent doses of anesthesia to targeted areas without producing potentially toxic side effects, a new study suggests.

Working with rats, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine intravenously administered specially engineered nanoparticles containing both ropivacaine and magnetite. They then used magnets to draw the nanoparticles into the rats' ankles, where the anesthetic was released, producing an effective, targeted block.

Though the nanoparticles contained a potentially toxic total dose of 14mg of ropivacaine, none of the rats had adverse effects, suggesting that the nanoparticles might safely allow for much higher doses of targeted anesthesia.

Jim Burger

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