Tags: IBD | colitis | drug-infused | gel | inflammation

Drug-Infused Gel Eases Colitis

By    |   Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 12:45 PM


More than 1 million Americans suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but treatments are limited. Since medicines usually break down before they reach the colon, many patients with ulcerative colitis, the most common form of the disease, relay on medicines delivered directly to the bowel by uncomfortable, messy daily enemas. But the method can also can cause side effects when the drugs are absorbed by healthy tissue.

Now, a collaboration of researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) that were brought together by Harvard University, have developed a gel-like material that can stick to sites with inflammation and release drugs slowly, reducing the need for daily enemas.

"We realized that if we could develop a disease-targeted hydrogel system that rapidly attaches to ulcers and slowly releases drugs at the site of inflammation, then we could create a better way to deliver medicine only where the drug is needed," said principle researcher Jeff Karp, Ph.D. "We're hopeful that this technology will allow patients to take an enema once a week rather than every day and without systemic side effects or the need to retain the enema as the gel quickly attaches to ulcers, ultimately improving their quality of life."

Ulcerative colitis causes chronic inflammation of the colon and rectum with symptoms that include diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, weight loss, fever, and fatigue.

The team selected a type of hydrogel called ascorbyl palmitate (AP), that was already approved by the FDA. The material is negatively charged, which means it would naturally be attracted to the sites of tissue damage, which are positively charged. Then the researchers loaded the gel with a corticosteroid drug that's commonly used to treat IBD.

The gel latches onto the inflamed tissue and releases it only when broken down by enzymes found in the diseased tissue. "We designed the gel to both target inflamed tissue or ulcers and release the drug only at sites of inflammation," said researcher Sufeng Zhang, Ph.D.

In animal studies, the drug-infused hydrogel reduced inflammation significantly with less frequent dosing, and concentrations of corticosteroids were five to 10 times lower when compared to traditional enemas containing the medicine.

Researchers hope to begin human trials in a couple of years.

© 2017 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Health-News
More than 1 million Americans suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but treatments are limited. Since medicines usually break down before they reach the colon, many patients with ulcerative colitis, the most common form of the disease, relay on medicines delivered...
IBD, colitis, drug-infused, gel, inflammation
371
2015-45-13
Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 12:45 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read Newsmax Terms and Conditions of Service.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved